Swollen hands

Swollen hands are a sign of accumulated fluid or inflammation in the tissue structures or joints of the hand.

The swelling of the hand is also called hand edema and can be provoked by severe infections, violence and other disease processes.

A swollen hand always causes pain, excess fluid may be stored without inflammation.
The swelling may occur suddenly or increase slowly.


Causes of swollen hands

There are many conditions that cause pain or discomfort, swelling, problems with gripping and overheating of the hands.

An infection can be the cause of a swollen hand.
A phlegmon, for example, is a serious bacterial infection of the skin that causes redness, pain, swelling and overheating.
The infection can spread to lymph nodes and blood and be fatal if not treated in time.

Poison ivy, poison oak and sumac
The toxin found in poison ivy, poison oak and sumac can cause an allergic rash and itchy blisters.

Abscess A skin abscess or boil is a swollen, painful, red and overheated skin lump that can burst and release pus.

Angioedema Angioedema
is a swelling under the skin that occurs predominantly on the eyes and lips.

Chilblains affect the skin and the underlying tissue, they are caused by exposure to cold.
The skin becomes very cold, tingling, hardening and reddening. As a rule, the extremities and less perfused body regions are affected, such as fingers and toes, nose, ears, cheeks and chin.

Insect bites
Redness, swelling, pain, itching and pimples are the most common symptoms of insect bites.

A burn can cause blisters and symptoms ranging from burning and pain to shortness of breath.

Burns Burns
are caused by excessive heat exposure and can cause pain, swelling, skin changes and blistering, depending on the severity of the burn.

XJ Tendons Finger Tractor

Traumas and injuries to hands and fingers

Injuries to the hand are another common cause of inflammation. The lesions can also lead to fluid accumulation in the injured region, thus provoking edema.
Even after sprain, tear, bone fracture, dislocation or bruise, swelling of the hand is noticeable.
As a result, a bruise or bruise is formed, the hand hurts and changes color; It first becomes red, then violet, blue or black, later yellow and finally greenish in color.

Hand fracture
A broken hand bone is not uncommon, it can cause pain, swelling and bruising.

Osteomyelitis is an infectious bone inflammation accompanied by pain, swelling and redness.

Tendinitis is the inflammation of a tendon; if it occurs at the end of a limb, swelling may be visible on the hand or foot; however, it is extremely rare for the shoulder, knee or elbow to swell due to tendonitis.
Tendonitis can occur acutely due to trauma or as a result of great effort (e.g. tightening a screw).

Osteoarthritis Hand osteoarthritis
occurs when there is damage to the articular cartilage, causing pain, stiffness and swelling.
Older people are particularly affected.

arthritis is a condition that can cause swelling of the hands.
Symptoms of arthritis include swelling, aching hands and joints.
The doctor may perform X-rays and examinations to determine which type of arthritis is causing the symptoms and then determine the appropriate form of treatment.
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis affects children and adolescents.

Rheumatoid arthritis Rheumatoid arthritis
is an autoimmune disease that usually affects the hands and involves stiffness, pain, swelling and deformities.

Medications that can
cause swollen hands The doctor needs to know what medications and treatments are currently being used: prescription and over-the-counter medications, dietary supplements, as well as medicinal plants and alternative forms of treatment.
The following medications can be a possible cause of swollen hands:

Organic diseases
Swollen hands can develop as a result of organic disease. kidney disease may be responsible for the swelling because the body cannot release the excess fluid; however, as a rule, in this case, the legs swell more often than the hands. The lymphatic system helps rid the body of fluid and swelling that can occur when the system is weakened by cancer or other health problems.

Activity and inactivity can cause swollen hands
Sitting in the same position for a long time can cause mild edema.
Even after intensive training, swelling of the hand can often be observed, because the flow of blood to the heart, lungs and muscles reduces the blood supply in the hands.

Sweating leads to a loss of fluid and minerals in the body and can increase swelling of the hands.Sodium A too high or low concentration of sodium can be another cause of swollen hands.
Excessive salt consumption can cause fluid to escape from the blood vessels and flow into the surrounding tissues. When too much water is drunk, especially in endurance sports such as marathons, the sodium concentration can dilute and an electrolyte imbalance can develop, which is called hyponatremia.
One of the signs of sodium deficiency is swelling, although other signs, such as confusion or vomiting, may be more pronounced.

Other causes:

  1. Trauma
  2. Tumour
  3. Obesity
  4. Diseases of the thyroid gland such as hyperthyroidism

Swelling in certain circumstances

Swollen hands in pregnancy
Hands may swell during pregnancy or as a premenstrual symptom. Pregnant women or women suffering from premenstrual syndrome store water everywhere in the body.
The swelling can be quite noticeable, especially during pregnancy, because the body increases the amount of blood and fluid by about 50%.

The affected women often complain of tingling in the fingers.
Likewise, the feet can swell due to pregnancy, especially in the eighth and ninth month.
In the week before menstruation, the accumulation of fluid in the body and hands is quite normal.

Swelling with itching and red spots
Allergic contact dermatitis, i.e. an inflammatory reaction to an allergen, can be the cause of swollen, dry hands with a red blotchy rash.
Allergic reactions that can cause fluid retention and redness of the skin also include hives and angioedema.

Nocturnal hand swelling
Swollen hands in bed are rare, but can occur with an unnatural sleeping posture when the arm is subjected to excessive pressure.

Swollen hands in winter
Raynaud’s phenomenon is a common cause of swollen, cold, numb, white or bluish hands in cold climates.
The cause is a disorder of blood vessels.

Enlarged hands
Hands can grow larger without necessarily being swollen for the following reasons:
Acromegaly causes an enlargement of the hand instead of swelling.

Treatment of swollen hands

One of the most important dietary change measures to treat swollen hands and feet is to reduce sodium intake.
Use less table salt and check how much sodium is contained in packaged food (e.g. snacks).
Choose food alternatives low in sodium.
Salt intake from food can be easily reduced by replacing chips and popcorn with fresh and fruits and vegetables.

Self-help for swollen hands

Drinking water It is wrong to believe that the retention of fluid is enhanced by drinking water.
On the contrary, as much as possible should be drunk to favor the flushing out of the accumulated liquid.

Stretching exercises for the hands and repeated pressing of the fingers stimulates the blood circulation of the affected region, which promotes swelling.
In summer, the swelling of the hands usually increases and it can cause problems to pull a ring from the finger; in this case, it is recommended to stretch your hands upwards and close and open your fingers several times into a fist.

Another simple trick is to move your hands while walking.
It is not a cause for concern if the hands and fingers are swollen when waking up in the morning; an unusual sleeping position may be to blame.
The affected person should keep calm and hold his hands up for a while to relieve the swelling.

It is known that excessive salt intake can cause swelling of the hands and fingers in a healthy adult. Therefore, sodium intake should be reduced in the daily diet; compliance with the recommended minimum amount will help reduce the edema.

If alcohol consumption is the main cause of swollen hands and fingers, abstaining from alcoholic beverages is the only way to reduce water retension. Replacing alcohol with water – this is the right way to treat swollen hands of alcoholics.
After the self-help measures, the water retention in the hands has probably already decreased considerably.

However, if the swelling of the hand occurs for no apparent reason and persists for more than two days, a doctor should be consulted.

Useful tips


Physical therapy can help relieve inflammation and swelling; in general, laser treatment and water ultrasound are particularly suitable for this purpose; if, on the other hand, there is a bruise, Tecar therapy shows the best results.

1- Drink at least 2 litres of water daily. In this way, the toxins are flushed out of the blood, which reduces hand swelling.

2- Put your feet and hands up. Place your feet on a footstool while sitting; they should be positioned above the heart. Bed your hands on a pillow so that they are above your arms.

3- Wear elastic stockings and gloves. These therapeutic agents are also referred to as compression stockings or gloves; they stimulate blood circulation in the hands and feet, thereby supporting decongestion.
If the wrist and hand are compressed by an elastic glove, fluid accumulation in the affected region can be prevented.
The gloves must fit snugly, but must not be so tight that the blood supply to the fingers is constricted.

4- Hand massage. The massage stimulates blood circulation in the hands and feet and can be performed by a friend.
The circulation of excess fluid is also favored.
The hand massage can reduce the fluid in the hand. If sports activities and massage cause pain, the patient may be able to endure the treatment more easily after a hot bath.

5- Ice cooling of hands and feet. Ice promotes swelling. Cool the swollen area with an ice pack for 10 minutes, then wait for 10 minutes. Make this change three times.
Caution: Ice must not be applied directly to the skin because it causes cold burns; always put a cloth in between.

6- Balanced diet. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Healthy people have a properly functioning blood circulation, so the hands are less swollen.

7- Reduce salt, alcohol and caffeine because they increase swelling.

8- Incorporate sports activities into everyday life. Regular exercise has been shown to reduce swelling of the hands and feet.
Stretching and endurance exercises for the muscles of the hand and wrist can help pump the excess fluid to the heart.

9- Hand immersion in salt water, in this way the liquid can escape from the skin pores.
The lukewarm water must contain a certain amount of salt so that the principle of osmosis can be used.
The hand bath should last at least 20 minutes.

Anti-inflammatory, nonsteroidal drugs without a prescription, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, can be used effectively to relieve pain, inflammation and swelling.

Cold or warmth for a swelling of the hands?

In the first 48 hours after an injury, anything that could increase swelling should be avoided, including hot shower, hot tub, warm compresses, or alcoholic beverages.

After 48-72 hours, when the swelling has subsided, warmth and gentle gymnastics, supported by a moist heat source, help to regain mobility. Some experts recommend alternating baths, whereby the hand is immersed alternately for 30 seconds in warm and then in cold water.

Self-treatment for a minor wrist or wrist injury
Self-treatment can help relieve pain, swelling, and stiffness.
Hand and finger jewelry, such as rings and bracelets, should be removed immediately after the injury; as the swelling progresses, removing the jewelry becomes increasingly problematic.

To relieve pain and swelling, follow the PITCH rule: break, ice, compression and high altitude.
The injured hand should not be used in the first 24 hours after the accident.
An elastic bandage can prevent excessive swelling; in addition, the hand is rather spared in this way.
A wrist brace gives support to an injured wrist.
You should ask a doctor if it makes sense to wear bandage or bandages for more than 48-72 hours.

gently massage the injured region to relieve pain and promote blood circulation; Do not massage if pain occurs.

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