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Taping Finger Injuries | How to Guide

By Rock + Run

Supporting an Injury

Taping is an obvious precaution when climbing on a recovering digit. Remember to tape between the knuckle and central joint, and the central and last joint; regardless of which pulley is injured, full support of the digit is vital. Once an injury is fully recovered, cease taping. To continue may, over time, weaken the fingers internal tissues as it becomes reliant on the support. Many articles on finger injuries recommend the “Buddy Taping” strategy (strapping the injured finger to a healthy digit). Personally I have found this counter productive, in that, as all the fingers are different lengths and climbing holds are often irregular you seem to end up loading the damaged finger in unusual ways often to the detriment of the injury. I find individually strapping the injured finger well seems to work fine - 2.5 to 3 turns of tape around the finger is usually sufficient to give plenty of support.

Taping a Split or Damaged Finger

With your finger slightly bent, starting halfway between the first two joints, run a 1/4" (just under 1cm) wide strip of tape vertically, around the tip, and back down the same distance on the other side of your finger. Make sure this vertical strip covers your split.


Again using a 1/4" (just under 1cm) wide strip, starting at the fingertip and working toward the hand, wrap down to just above the first joint, making sure to overlap the wraps by at least a third. Because your fingertip tapers, you'll notice that it's impossible to keep the slack out of the wraps all the way around. That's okay, just make sure to keep the wraps smooth and evenly tensioned on the front side. Let any slack build up on the fingernail side. Anchor the tape job by making a figure 8 wrap around the joint. Do this with your finger bent. The wrap will pass on either side of the knuckle on the back of your finger and cross on the inside of the joint. 


Follow the figure 8 with a single wrap around your finger. Finish by pinching the slack out of the fingernail side of the wraps from step #2. Your tape job will stretch out during the first few pitches so it should feel a little too tight at first, without cutting off your circulation. Diagrams:

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