San Francisco Podiatry Video


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

What is The Best Way to Tape a Plantar Plate Sprain In the Ball of the Foot?

The plantar plate is a small ligament that reinforces the bottom of the joint capsule at the ball of the foot. When you sprain this ligament, the ball of the foot can be sore and ache when you walk. One of the best ways to decrease the stress to an injured plantar plate ligament is to tape the foot so that the ligament it stabilized and can heal. This video will show you how to tape the ball of the foot when the plantar plate is sprained or injured.

The first thing you need to do is get the correct type of tape. The very best tape is called Tensoplast (or Elastoplast). It is good because it stretches when you walk. With Tensoplast tape, the toe can flex slightly without getting irritated. You should order one roll of tape that is one inch wide by five yards in length.

Now that you have the right tape, you will cut a piece of tape to the correct length using your hand as a reference. The correct amount will reach from the tip of your finger the base of your palm. Next you will cut that piece of tape into two equal size pieces. Just cut the piece of tape lengthwise splitting it right down the middle. Take one of the two pieces and place it back on the roll to save it for later use. Now you are ready to tape the toe to help the plantar plate heal.

Take the piece of tape and center it on the top of the second toe. You should place the tape between the foot and the last knuckle in the toe. The tape should be right at the base of the toe. Wrap one strand around the toe, pull down slightly to create some tension in the tape and stick the tape across the ball of the foot so that it is in place on the bottom of the foot under the little toe joint.

Now take the other strand and it wrap it around the toe in the opposite direction, pulling down slightly to create some tension in the tape. This strand will cross over the other as you stick the tape across the ball of the foot so that it is in place on the bottom of the foot under the big toe joint.

If placed correctly and looking at the bottom of the foot, the tape will look somewhat like a breast cancer awareness ribbon. With the tape in this position, the pressure on the tape when you walk will keep it secure. There should be just enough tension in the tape that the second toe is pulled downward slightly lower than the third toe. This will decrease the tension on the plantar plate at the bottom of the second toe joint and help it heal.

You should keep the tape on 24 hours a day to protect the plantar plate as the sprain heals. Change the tape if the adhesive wears out and isn’t sticking to the the bottom of the foot. If your skin becomes irritated, discontinue use. Don’t tape the toe if you have an allergy to tape or adhesives. Heal fast, and get back to running!

This instructional video was created by Dr. Christopher Segler who a 10-time Ironman Triathlon finisher. He is also an internationally recognized expert on running injuries and healing foot injuries while running. He is often invited to lecture on the rapid treatment of complicated running injuries to foot surgeons, podiatrists and sports medicine physicians at medical conferences. He practices sports medicine podiatry in San francisco, CA, but also offers remote consultations world-wide. To learn more about the causes and treatment of capsulitis and plantar plate injuries, visit the ball of the foot information page at if you would like to learn about how to get the fastest treatment possible for a plantar plate injury, you can learn more at

Disclaimer: This video is intended to provide general information about sports medicine injuries and self-teatment options. This of course is not (nor is it meant to be) a sufficient substitute for a medical evaluation by a local physician or medical doctor.

1 comment:

  1. pain of sprain is very bad, and it hurts very badly. Sports Tape or some athlete tape must be very helpful to heal from a pain. This blog is very helping. Thank you for sharing.