A plantar plate tear is a smaller tear or strain to the ligament which is underneath the lessor toe joints in the foot. It is usually related to too much use, particularly in activities which require the toes to be bent back or dorsiflexed. The discomfort is commonly just above the area distal to the joint on the bottom of the foot. As this problem is due to the toe bending to much backwards or upwards (dorsiflexing) when walking, tape is a great method to control that motion.
The best way for taping a plantar plate tear is to loop some strapping across the toe to drag the toe down in a plantarflexed position. The ends of the tape go below the ball of the foot and by looping around the toe it should hold it lower. The idea being is whenever we walk, and the heel comes up off the ground and the toe bends there is less strain on the plantar plate as the toe is hindered from bending up. In this way the plantar plate tear taping could actually help the damage heal. This will likely take a while however is by and large quite effective. Additional methods may be used to assist in preventing the dorsiflexion through the joint which is painful, such as using a more firm sole footwear that is not bendable as this can prevent excessive motion at the joints. Additionally, there are stiff plates which can be used as insoles to help make the shoe more rigid. A foot orthotic insert that has a cavity over the painful place can also be used for getting force off the sore spot may also make it much more comfortable to walk on. These sorts of methods are likely to be quite helpful, especially that taping. Even so, as we still have to walk around on the feet rather than get complete rest, it may take a few months of this method in order to get a good outcome. Sometimes it may not really work out like that or the problem is particularly painful. In those instances, surgery to correct the tear may well be suggested.