The hallux and first ray play a key role in proper foot mechanics and gait sequencing. Even subtle injuries left undiagnosed or managed inappropriately can impact greatly the ability of the athlete to return fully to uninhibited athletic participation. By having a comprehensive working knowledge of hallux and first ray kinematics, the physical therapist or athletic trainer can better assess the athlete's dynamic function and injury, thus allowing them to develop a rationale for appropriate rehabilitation and taping techniques. Rehabilitation programs are most effective when designed in conjunction with sound biomechanical principles. In addition, taping techniques are intended to protect or improve normal biomechanics of the foot and ankle and should be applied under the same biomechanical rationale as the rehabilitation program. The restoration of normal biomechanics and the appropriate use of taping minimizes the amount of time the athlete is sidelined before the safe return to full athletic participation.
Keywords: first ray; hallux; plantar fascitis; taping; turf toe