Swollen Hands? What Could be Happening

Have you ever looked down at your hands to see that your hands are a bit puffy, your fingers are like little sausages or your ring is pressing hard into your skin?  Swollen hands can be caused by a number of reasons.  Should you freak out?   Most likely, no.  While most swollen hands causes are not harmful in any way, they can occasionally point in the direction of a serious problem.

Here are some of the most common reasons you may have swollen hands, and when you should call your doctor.


Heat can cause blood vessels to expand, which will let more heat escape through your skin to try and cool it down.  When the vessels in your hands start to stretch out, little bits of their fluid can leak out into your soft tissues causing puffiness.  Typically, if your hands are swollen due to heat, it will go away as you use your hands and when you cool off.  If the puffiness in your hands is followed by pain or you have trouble gripping things, consult your doctor.


Your puffy hands and fingers could be caused by eating too many chips and guac, fried or super salty food.  If you take in extra salt, your body will compensate by retaining more water, which causes swelling.  Mild swelling brought on by consuming salty foods may go away on its own within a day or so.  If you notice when you eat something salty and your hands swell up, try to avoid your salt intake if possible.  Here are 13 foods that are surprisingly saltier than you may think.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Carpal tunnel syndrome results from compression of the median nerve in the wrist and hand.  When that nerve is squeezed or pinched, swelling, pain, burning or numbness in the hands can develop.

If you have carpal tunnel syndrome, physical therapy can help to relieve symptoms and help you regain normal use of your hands. Schedule an appointment with Desert Hand Therapy today!


Common symptoms of arthritis includes swelling and pain in the hands and other joints.  A doctor can help you to determine if your swollen hands are caused by arthritis and which type of arthritis is involved.

Swollen hands can be a sign of a serious disorder or disease.  Be sure you seek immediate medical care and talk with your doctor about your symptoms.  Warning signs of a more serious condition include hand swelling, pain, redness and warmth.

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