A plantar plate tear is a small tear or strain to the ligament that is underneath the lessor toe joints in the foot. It is almost always associated with excessive use, especially in activities that need the toes to be bent back or dorsiflexed. The pain is usually just above the area distal to the joint at the base of the foot. As this problem is due to the toe bending to far backwards or upwards (dorsiflexing) when walking, tape is an excellent method to control that motion.
The simplest way for taping a plantar plate tear is to loop some strapping around the toe to tug the toe down in a plantarflexed position. The ends of the strapping go under the ball of the foot and by looping around the toe it can keep the toe plantarflexed. The idea being is when we walk, and the heel lifts up off the ground and the toe bends there is less load on the plantar plate as the toe is hindered from bending up. That way the plantar plate tear taping could actually help the damage recover. This tends to take a while however is by and large very efficient. Alternative methods could be used to assist in preventing the dorsiflexion through the joint which is painful, such as using a more rigid sole shoe which is not bendable since this can prevent a lot of movement in the joints. Additionally, there are stiff plates which can be used as shoe inserts to make the shoe firmer. A foot orthotic device that features a hole around the sore spot can also be used to get weight away from the sore area will likely allow it to be more at ease to walk on. These sorts of approaches are typically very useful, particularly that strapping. Nevertheless, as we still need to walk about on the feet rather than get total rest, it can take several months with this approach to get a good outcome. Sometimes it does not work out that way or the problem is especially distressing. In those situations, surgery to mend the tear may be recommended.