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Tips On How To Wrap A Sprained Thumb

Tips On How To Wrap A Sprained Thumb
Akanksha Nigam

A sprained thumb is when the ligaments of the thumb become injured, either by playing sports or doing any activity that puts pressure on the thumb joint. It is less painful than a broken thumb or a torn ligament, but it will still impact thumb movement and other tasks to some degree.  

A thumb sprain is common in sports like volleyball, softball, basketball, and rugby. It is also common when we try to avoid injury during a fall or hitting it forcefully against a hard surface. Sometimes a sprained thumb is also called a gamekeeper's thumb. Symptoms of a sprained thumb include pain, discomfort, limited movement of the thumb, and stiffness. The pain could also be accompanied by swelling and bruising. 

One of the most common ligaments affected in a thumb sprain is the ulnar collateral ligament which keeps the thumb from dislocating or bending too much.

How to Wrap a Sprained Thumb?

  • A common treatment is known as the PRICE method (Pressure-Rest-Ice-Compress-Elevate):
    • Pressure - Apply pressure on the injured area. This eases swelling. Rest – Try not to move the thumb too much; doing so will only increase pain.
    • Ice – Apply an ice pack on the sprained area for 15-20 minutes every 2-4 hours.
    • Compress – Apply pressure by wrapping the sprained area with an elastic bandage.
    • Elevate – Elevate the hand above the heart level to reduce swelling and pain. 
  • Immobilize the thumb with athletic tape or an elastic bandage to minimize movement.
  • A doctor may recommend using a thumb spica splint or a cast.  

How to Tape a Sprained Thumb?

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to tape a sprained thumb using a kinesiology tape:

  1. Cut out a 1-inch wipe piece of tape to cover from the knuckle of the thumb to the wrist.
  2. Cut the edges of the tape in a rounded fashion to avoid it from getting stuck.
  3. Bring your thumb close to the pinky finger to expose the ulna bone.
  4. Apply the tape from the knuckle of the thumb to the front of the wrist.
  5. Take a 2-inch tape and place it perpendicularly over the wrist on the vertically applied tape.
  6. Use baby oil to remove the tape.

How to Wrap a Sprained Thumb with an Elastic Bandage?

  1. Place your palm facing downwards.
  2. Start wrapping the bandage at the underside of the wrist, the spot where we take a  pulse. Wrap the elastic bandage around the wrist two times. 
  3. After wrapping the bandage around the wrist twice, take the other end of the bandage towards the front of the palm and bring it around the back of the palm.
  4. Bring the end towards the wrist and wrap the wrist again. Repeat the third step.
  5. Wrap the other end around the thumb to support the ulnar bone or the thumb ligament.
  6. Take the other end across the front of the palm and wrap the thumb two or three times, moving the bandage up with every turn.
  7. Once the thumb is covered, bring the other end towards the wrist, and secure it at the point where you started.
  8. Secure the bandage with medical tape or snap-on clips.

Where to buy tapes to wrap a sprained thumb?

HPFY carries various kinesiology tapes, elastic bandages, and thumb spica splints. Here are some of our top sellers:

1. CanDo Kinesiology Tape

The CanDo Kinesiology Tape is made of hypoallergenic fibers and has a wave-like adhesive on one side that keeps sweat and moisture away. It is water resistant and allows the skin to breathe. This tape stays on while swimming, showering, and in the sauna. It can be extended up to 30-40% of its length.

2. MuscleAidTape Elastic Kinesiology Tape

The MuscleAidTape Elastic Kinesiology Tape can be used for treating athletic injuries as well as for everyday muscle problems like pain, soreness, cramping, etc. This tape is water resistant and stays on while swimming, showering, and even in the sauna. It offers great air permeability, allowing the skin to breathe and sweat to evaporate.

CanDo Kinesiology Tape


MuscleAidTape Elastic Kinesiology Tape



3. 3M Ace Elastic Bandage with E-Z Clips

The 3M ACE Elastic Bandage with E-Z Clips provides comfortable support during intense activities. Its therapeutic heat retention feature also relieves a sprain/strain, swelling, or muscle soreness. This compression wrap is easy to use and secures with clip snaps. It has been designed to be comfortable even when worn for long periods. The 3M ACE elastic bandage wrap has an anti-microbial treatment to prevent bacteria from growing, keeping odor at bay.

4. 3M Coban Two-Layer Compression Bandage System

The 3M Coban Two Layer Compression Bandage System provides seven-day therapeutic compression. It has been clinically proven to reduce slippage and encourages longer wear time. Its thin, lightweight, and breathable design makes it very comfortable. 

5. Comfort Cool Thumb Spica

The Comfort Cool Thumb Spica immobilizes the thumb and wrist, allowing free movement of the fingers. Designed with a thermoplastic stay for a custom fit, it offers support and compression to the thumb muscles. It fits the right or left hand and is trimmed to suit the user's needs.  It is lined with terry cloth, making it very soft and comfortable to wear, even for long periods. A thumb sprain is not a very serious condition. It just needs proper rest and the right care for effective healing. While the PRICE method provides some relief. Use a bandage or a kinesiology tape to wrap the sprained thumb if the pain increases is better.

3M ACE Elastic Bandage With E-Z Clips


3M Coban Two Layer Compression Bandage System


Comfort Cool Thumb Spica



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HPFY Akanksha Nigam

Akanksha Nigam

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Akanksha Nigam has been a Health Products For You contributor since 2021. With a Masters Degree in Finance, she began her Marketing career in the banking industry. However, her interest in human ...

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