How to Tape a Sprained Thumb for Basketball

White medicine bandage on human injury hand finger
Taping a sprained thumb can allow a player to still dribble effectively. (Image: NagyDodo/iStock/Getty Images)

A sprained thumb makes it difficult to perform certain movements in basketball, but learning how to tape the injury can allow a player to still be effective. The sprain reduces the flexibility of the thumb, affecting such things as dribbling, passing and grasping the ball, but taping it will help stabilize the thumb and prevent further damage to the joint. Rest, ice, compression and elevation are the best remedies for a thumb sprain. But players who want to return to competition before the injury heals fully can benefit from taping.

Step 1

Hold your hand with the palm facing up. Place the end of the tape on the front of your wrist, then wrap the tape around the back of your hand toward your pinkie finger and pull it over your thumb.

Step 2

Pull the tape across your palm and wrap it once around your wrist. Tear off the tape from the end of the roll and press it firmly against your wrist.

Step 3

Place the end of the tape slightly above the first layer of tape on the front of your wrist, then wrap the tape around the back of your hand and pull it so it circles the base of your palm and thumb. You should now have a strip of tape going diagonally across your palm and the back of your hand, and two strips going around your wrist.

Step 4

Attach the end of the tape to the diagonal strip across your palm, pull it around your thumb and anchor it to the diagonal strip on the back of your hand. Tear off the tape from the end of the roll and press it firmly against the back of your hand.

Step 5

Wrap the tape around your thumb from one diagonal strip to the other. Move the tape slightly up your thumb with each wrap, overlapping the tape. The farther up your thumb you tape, the greater the support.

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