Strategies for Securing the Thumb

The distinctive structure and arrangement of your thumb makes it exceptionally flexible but susceptible to harm, particularly when participating in ball sports. Wrapping the thumb can assist in preventing injuries and providing relief from pain. When initially experiencing thumb pain, the optimal approach to finding relief is to identify the cause.

Two thumb strapping techniques

Three Common Origins of Thumb Pain

The three most prevalent sources of thumb pain include:

  1. Overuse or repetitive strain injury (RSI). Activities such as texting, gaming, typing, and using rotating tools in construction can diminish the cartilage, tendons, and tissue surrounding your thumb joint, leading to inflammation, swelling, and pain.
  2. Inflammation. Arthritis, tendonitis, and cellulitis are three of the most prevalent inflammatory conditions that cause thumb pain.
  3. Injuries. When you fall or hit your thumb, you can excessively stretch or 'bend' your thumb backwards, resulting in a agonizing strain.

If you are uncertain about the cause of your thumb pain, consult a qualified physician for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Supportive Thumb Taping Techniques

1. Kinesiology taping for thumb tendinitis.

You will need assistance from someone else. Position your affected arm as if it were in a sling (in front of you with your thumb pointing towards the ceiling) and flex the top of your thumb.

a. Cut a single length of Elastoplast Kinesiology Tape in half lengthwise with rounded corners.

b. Apply the tip of one half on your thumb nail.

c. Gently stretch the strip back in a straight line and secure it at your wrist.

d. Carefully lower your wrist joint and lightly press the tape onto your skin. Raise it back to the original angle.

e. Place the end of the second half on top of the first one, but slightly farther forward so that it hangs over your thumb nail.

Secure it over the fingertip.

Gently stretch the strip and secure it a little further towards your elbow than the first strip.

Repeat step (d).

Cut another single length of kinesiology tape in half short ways with rounded corners.

Holding the ends of one strip with both hands, stretch out the middle.

Apply the middle across the base of your thumb joint and gently secure the ends down each side of your hand.

Repeat step (j) with the second short strip.

Apply the second strip on top of the first strip but, about an inch further towards your elbow.

2. Thumb strapping with Rigid Strapping Tape

Apply a 38mm Elastoplast Rigid Strapping Tape around the wrist, this will act as an anchor for the following taping applications b to f.

Apply 25mm Elastoplast Rigid Strapping tape from the middle joint of the thumb down to the anchor to provide support and counteract extension movement that can cause injury

Repeat twice, or three times for larger thumbs

Apply 25mm Elastoplast Elastic Adhesive Bandage in a figure 8 formation from the Anchor on the wrist, up to and around the mid-point of the thumb with further pressure applied when coming back to the back of the wrist.

Repeat twice, or three times for larger thumbs

Finish technique by securing an anchor around the wrist

3. Thumb splint.

The tendency to move your injured thumb when using the rest of your hand can be painful. A splint helps to keep your thumb rigid so it can heal.

You need to:

  1. Find a piece of inflexible material (paddle pop stick, cardboard etc) that is about an inch longer than your thumb.
  2. Position it on the back of your thumb, making sure it extends one centimetre above your thumb.
  3. Secure the splint with a strapping tape like Elastoplast Rigid Strapping Tape. 

    Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your healthcare professional.

    For further information regarding Elastoplast products, please contact us via email on [email protected]. Carefully read the instructions for use given in our products’ packages.

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