Taping your thumb is a common practice in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and other grappling arts to help provide support and stabilization for sprains and minor strains. Here are the basic steps:
Start by taking a 2-3 inch wide athletic tape. Wrap the tape around the base of your thumb and palm a few times to create an anchor point and secure it.
Next, take the tape and wrap it around the top of your thumb knuckle, going under the thumb and around the sides. Apply enough tension so that the tape provides compression but not so tight that it restricts your thumb movement.
Continue wrapping the tape around the top of the thumb knuckle in a figure eight pattern, going under and over the thumb. Do this several times to provide support for the ligaments around your thumb joint.
Optionally, you can add a second anchor point by wrapping the tape around your thumb and palm again. This will help keep the tape in place during training.
Once you’re done taping your thumb, flex and extend your thumb to test the range of motion and tightness. Adjust the tape if needed by loosening or adding more wraps. The goal is to have enough support without restricting movement.
Over time as your thumb heals, you may need less tape or can switch to using pre-wrap or athletic thumb sleeves instead of full taping. But in the early stages of a sprain, taping your thumb as described can help provide stability, reduce pain, and aid in the healing process.
OG Kurt Osiander shows the best way to tape your thumb for Jiu-Jitsu: