Basic taping for hand and finger injuries in basketball

At some point in the course of playing basketball you might have injured your hand or finger while going for a steal, intercepting a hard pass, hand checking an opposing player, or cushioning a bad fall. Such injuries may force you to play in pain if you opt to continue or may take you out of the game completely.

A knowledge of basic athletic taping, however, will help you from aggravating an existing minor injury, and facilitate your return to training or keep you in the game. Generally, the athletic tape should limit abnormal or excessive movement of a sprained joint while also providing support to the muscles surrounding the injured joint.

A sprain is an overstretching (1st degree ), partial tearing ( 2nd degree ), or complete tearing ( 3rd degree ) of a ligament – a soft tissue structure that provides stability to the joint. A first degree sprain benefit the most from athletic taping since it allows the player to resume training or rejoin the game due to good support provided by the taping technique and the consequent reduction of pain during movement in the injured joint.

This simple guide will help you in assessing the severity of hand and finger injuries (adapted from D. H. Perrin’s ATHLETIC TAPING AND BRACING):

  1. Obtain the player’s history relating to the mechanism of injury.
  2. Inspect the area for swelling and deformity.
  3. Palpate the part for abnormalities.
  4. Assess the active range of motion – the player’s willingness to move the part.
  5. Determine the passive range of motion – your ability to move the injured part while
    the player relaxes.
  6. Evaluate the resistive range of motion – the player’s ability to contract the muscles
    about the injured part.
  7. Assess the integrity of the ligaments of the joint.
  8. Always compare your findings with the uninjured extremity!

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