How to Tape Your Wrist for Support (and When to Ask for Help)

Are you an athlete looking for advice on how to tape a wrist for support? Or maybe you've been experiencing wrist pain and want to take preventative measures. If so, you’ve come to the right place! In this blog post, we'll cover how to tape a wrist for support, as well as when to ask for help if your wrist pain persists.

Assess the injury

Before taping your wrist for support, it is important to first assess the injury. There are a few ways you can do this:

  1. Check for swelling, discoloration, or tenderness in the area around your wrist.
  2. Move your wrist and see if there is any pain or restricted movement.
  3. Note whether the injury is recent or long-term and if you have had any medical attention for it.

If your injury seems serious or if the pain persists despite your best efforts at home care, it is important to seek medical advice and assistance from a trained health care professional. In some cases, taping may be contraindicated due to the severity of the injury or the presence of other medical conditions that could be made worse by taping.

Clean the area

It is important to make sure your skin is clean before taping for support. Wash the area with soap and water and then use rubbing alcohol or an antiseptic wipes to clean the area. This will help ensure the tape will stay on longer and prevent infection from occurring. Once the area is clean, dry it with a clean cloth or paper towel. Make sure there are no cuts or open wounds as this can create a health risk when taping.

Cut the tape

When cutting the tape, it is important to measure the length needed to wrap your wrist. You will want to cut two strips of tape, one slightly longer than the other. The longer strip should be about two inches longer than the circumference of your wrist. Once you have the two strips cut, you can begin to apply the tape.

Start by placing the longer strip of tape directly below your wrist joint. Make sure to wrap the tape around the wrist, not above it, and that it is centered over the joint. Wrap the tape around the wrist in a figure 8 pattern, overlapping each end as you go. Make sure that you keep the tension on the tape moderate, neither too tight nor too loose. After you have wrapped your wrist with the longer strip of tape, take the shorter strip and place it on top of the first one. Again, make sure to center it over the joint and wrap it around the wrist in a figure 8 pattern. This will help to provide additional stability and support for your wrist. 

Finally, press down firmly on the tape to make sure that it is secured in place and that there are no wrinkles or gaps. You may want to use medical tape remover or skin-safe adhesive to keep the tape secure if it begins to slip or come off.

Wrap the tape

Once you have cut the tape and secured it around your wrist, it’s time to finish off the taping job. To do this, begin wrapping the tape around the sides of your wrist in a figure 8 pattern, making sure that you overlap each layer of tape by about 50%. Continue wrapping the tape around the sides of your wrist until the desired amount of compression is achieved. Once complete, secure the end of the tape by tucking it underneath the previous layer. 

If you have any questions or concerns about taping your wrist for support, consult with a healthcare professional before proceeding. They can provide additional advice on how to properly tape your wrist for support, as well as when to seek medical attention.

Repeat as necessary

When taping your wrist for support, it is important to repeat the wrapping process as needed. Depending on the severity of the injury and how long you need the support for, you may need to re-wrap your wrist several times a day.

If you are using tape specifically designed for sports injuries, such as Kinesio Tape or another form of athletic tape, it is recommended that you leave it on for no more than 3 days. After that, you should remove the tape and check the area for any skin irritation. If there is any sign of irritation or redness, be sure to consult your doctor before applying a new piece of tape.

If you are using a less adhesive type of bandage, such as a compression wrap, you can leave it on for up to 5 days. Again, if there is any sign of skin irritation or redness, be sure to consult your doctor before reapplying a new wrap.

In some cases, the tape or bandage might not provide enough support for your injury. If that's the case, you should seek medical advice as soon as possible in order to determine what kind of professional help is needed.