Health and Fitness

How to manage a plantar plate tear?

A plantar plate tear is a smaller tear or strain in the ligament which is beneath the smaller toe joints in the foot. It is usually related to too much use, particularly in exercises which require the toes to be bent back or dorsiflexed. The discomfort is usually just above the area distal to the joint at the base of the foot. As this issue is due to the toe bending to much backwards or upwards (dorsiflexing) when walking, taping is a great strategy to reduce that motion.

The easiest way for taping a plantar plate tear is to loop some strapping about the toe to drag the toe downwards in a plantarflexed placement. The ends of the strapping go under the front foot and by looping across the toe it will hold the toe downwards. The objective being is that whenever we walk, and the rearfoot lifts up off the ground and the toe bends there's less stress on the plantar plate since the toe is stopped from bending back. That way the plantar plate tear taping could actually help the injury get better. This could take a while however is by and large effective. Alternative methods can be used to help prevent the dorsiflexion through the joint that is painful, such as having a more firm sole shoe that is not flexible as this may prevent too much movement in the joints. There are also stiff plates which you can use as insoles to help make the shoe firmer. A foot support device that has a cavity around the sore spot may also be used for getting weight off the painful location may also make it much more comfortable to walk on. These sorts of strategies are likely to be pretty useful, particularly that taping. Even so, as we still need to walk about on the foot and not have complete rest, it may take several months of this approach to get a result. Sometimes it may not really work out that way or the problem is particularly distressing. In those cases, surgery to repair the tear can be suggested.

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