Background: Taping is an effective temporary therapy for improving hallux valgus (HV) in adults. Although HV has been demonstrated to impair postural balance, there is a lack of information about how corrective taping affects balance and gait patterns in adults with HV deformity.
Methods: Eighteen middle-aged female patients (average age, 53.5 years) with HV were included. Corrective tape was applied to correct HV angulation. A series of balance and gait stability tests were performed before applying tape and 1 hour after the tape was applied with a Balance Master computerized posturography device. The study involved the following tests: modified clinical test of sensory interaction and balance (mCTSIB), unilateral stance (US), limit of stability (LoS), step up/over (SUO), and walk across (WA) tests.
Results: No significant difference was found between the no-tape and taped condition in the static balance mCTSIB and US tests ( P > .05). The taping intervention resulted in significant improvement in the dynamic balance measures for the LoS test's backward reaction time and left maximum excursion ( P < .05), a significantly higher impact index bilaterally in the SUO assessment ( P < .05), and an increase in step width mean and variability in the WA test ( P < .05).
Conclusions: Taping for correcting HV angulation had negative acute effects on dynamic balance in the SUO and WA tests and positive effects in the LoS test.
Clinical relevance: Corrective taping, although a form of conservative treatment for hallux valgus, has been insufficiently studied in terms of effects on balance. Our results show that taping, as an acute effect, may impair balance in middle-aged adults when walking or ascending and descending stairs.
Keywords: balance; hallux valgus; taping.