by Logan Swisher, SPT


Hallux valgus, also known as a bunion or hammer toe, is a foot deformity that causes a bony sometimes painful bump at the base of the big toe. Per year this affects over 3 million people in the US. The cause of bunions is not well understood but factors such as gender, footwear and heredity are known to play a role in the development of hallux valgus. Conservative treatment which can include physical therapy is usually the first step in addressing this diagnosis.


20 total female participants

-10 in the study group (exercises and taping)

-10 in the control group (exercises only)


Subjects were split into a study group which involved both daily exercises and taping or the control group which only involved daily exercises for 8 weeks. At the start of the study each participant had the angle of their hallux valgus measured, their intensity of foot pain measured by the visual analog scale (VAS) and their ability to walk determined by the walking ability scale (WAS). Subjects in the control group were asked to perform the exercises 2 times a day and the subjects in the study group were asked to perform the 2 times a day and wear tape for 10 hours a day. All subjects were re-evaluated at the end of the 8 week period.


At the end of 8 weeks, both groups showed improvement in: resting pain, walking pain and their ability to walk. However, the study group (which received taping) demonstrated a greater improvement in all three areas than the exercise only group.

Clinical Application:

The results of this study indicate that the combined approach of exercises and taping is more effective in reducing pain and improving walking ability as compared to exercise alone. Here at PTFirst, we will provide an in-depth evaluation which will address multiple factors contributing to your hallux valgus. This could include strength, range of motion, gait and shoe wear. Our therapists will then design an individualized program to conservatively manage and treat your hallux valgus with the goal of keeping you as active as possible without being limited by pain.

Article: Bayar, Banu & Erel, Suat & Simşek, Ibrahim & Sumer, Erkan & Bayar, Kilichan. (2011). The effects of taping and foot exercises on patients with hallux valgus: A preliminary study. Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences. 41. 403-409. 10.3906/sag-0912-499.