How to buddy tape a finger

Written by kathryn hatter
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How to buddy tape a finger
Buddy tape a finger to protect it after injury. (fingers image by Vonora from

Spraining a finger or injuring the ligaments in a finger are two common finger injuries that occur during sports play and general activities. When you have an injured finger causing pain, protecting the finger from further injury becomes important, as well as reducing some of the pain from the injury. If you buddy tape a finger, you tape it to a healthy neighbour finger to support and protect the injured finger while it heals.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Thin gauze
  • First aid tape

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  1. 1

    Place one or two pieces of thin gauze between the two fingers you will tape together. The gauze will prevent the fingers from rubbing against each other and will cushion the injured finger to make it more comfortable.

  2. 2

    Position the injured finger against the healthy finger in as normal a position as possible. Hold the healthy finger in the same position as the injured finger to make the taping more comfortable and secure.

  3. 3

    Wrap a piece of first aid tape around the injured finger and the healthy finger between the second and third knuckle. Do not make the tape so tight that it cuts off circulation, but just snug enough to hold the two fingers together securely.

  4. 4

    Wrap a second piece of first aid tape around the two fingers between the first and second knuckle, again making the tape just tight enough to be secure without cutting off circulation.

  5. 5

    Watch the injured finger carefully after you buddy tape it. Because the finger may swell from the injury, you may have to tape the fingers again more loosely if swelling occurs because the original taping will become too tight.

Tips and warnings

  • Buddy taping should not be necessary for more than two to three weeks--if the finger still feels painful after this time, consult a physician.
  • If you injure the fourth finger, buddy tape it to the fifth finger and not the third finger because leaving the fifth finger alone exposes it to injury.

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