A plantar plate tear is a small tear or strain in the ligament that is under the lessor toe joints in the foot. It is usually related to overuse, especially in activities that require the toes to be bent back or dorsiflexed. The pain is typically just above the area distal to the joint on the bottom of the foot. As this problem is due to the toe bending to far backwards or upwards (dorsiflexing) when walking, taping is a good way to restrict that movement.
The best way for taping a plantar plate tear is to loop some tape around the toe to pull the toe downwards in a plantarflexed position. The ends of the tape go under the ball of the foot and by looping around the toe tit will hold it down. The idea being is that when we walk, and the heel comes up off the ground and the toe bends there is less load on the plantar plate as the toe is prevented from bending back. This way the plantar plate tear strapping can help the injury heal. This can take a while but is generally quite effective. Other methods can be used to help prevent the dorsiflexion across the joint that is painful, such as using a more rigid sole shoe that is not flexible as this will prevent too much movement at the joints. There are also stiff plates that can be used as insole to make the shoe stiffer. A foot orthotic device that has a cavity over the painful area can also be used to get weight of the painful area will also make it more comfortable to walk on. These sorts of approaches are generally quite useful, especially that taping. However, as we still have to walk around on the foot and not have total rest, it can take many months of this approach to get a result. Sometimes it does not work out that way or the problem is particularly painful. In those cases, surgery to repair the tear may be indicated.