Swollen Fingers

How to Reduce Swollen Fingers

Swollen fingers may result from an injury or from edema, a common medical condition that causes excess fluid to be stored in various locations of the body, including the hands, feet, ankles and legs. Edema may be caused by pregnancy, medications or specific medical conditions, such kidney issues, lymphatic system complications or congestive heart failure. Here are some suggestions for reducing swollen fingers

Exercise your swollen fingers. Move your fingers around pump excess fluid back to the heart. Motion causes blood flow to the area, which stimulates the pressure necessary to pump excess fluids away. Exercises may be as simple as typing at a keyboard, flexing your fingers or using your hands to get dressed or fix breakfast. Any movement of your fingers will reduce swelling.

    • If you don’t have time for traditional exercise, think about a quick 15-minute walk once a day. Walking just 10-15 minutes is a great way to increase circulation throughout your body. Swing or move your hands up and down while you walk.
    • People who suffer from obesity are more prone to edema because the lymphatic system works slower. Swelling may diminish if the lymphatic system kicks in again. Exercising more often, planning out a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables and protein, and drinking more water may assist the body in getting the lymphatic system running to its full potential.
  1. Elevate your hands and fingers. Swelling can be caused by poor circulation or blood that stagnates in your hands. Elevating your hands will help any accumulated blood flow back down to the body.
    • Raise your swollen fingers above your heart for 30 minutes at least 3 or 4 times per day to treat severe edema. Doctors also recommend elevating your hands above your heart when sleeping.
    • Keep your hands and fingers elevated for a short period of time to alleviate minor swelling.
    • Try raising your hands up above your head, interlocking them, and bringing them down behind your head. Move your head back and create a little bit of resistance. After 30 seconds, release your hands, shake them out, and repeat process multiple times.
  2. Rub your swollen fingers. Massage the tissues in the swollen fingers toward your heart. Use strong, firm rubbing motions. A hand massage will stimulate the muscles and blood flow to your fingers, which will help push out the excess fluid that causes your fingers to swell.
    • Consider getting a professional hand and foot massage. Hand and foot massages can be very affordable.
    • Give yourself a hand massage. Using the thumb and forefinger of one hand, clamp lightly but securely onto the opposite hand. Run your thumb and forefinger from the base of the palm to the end of a finger. Repeat for each finger, then switch hands.
  3. Wear compression gloves. Compression gloves apply pressure to your hands and fingers, which deters the collection of excess fluids.
  4. Limit salt in your diet. Salt causes your body to retain extra water and fluids, which may affect your fingers. By limiting your salt intake, you reduce the chances of retaining extra fluids. If you feel food is too bland with less salt, use other seasonings to flavor your foods.
  5. Maintain a moderate temperature in your home or office. A moderate temperature will encourage better circulation. Keep the temperature around you steady to reduce finger swelling that results from extreme temperature changes.
    • Studies show that hot showers, baths and compresses increase swelling on affected body parts, including fingers. [1]
    • Exposure to extremely cold temperatures may also increase swelling. If the swelling in your hands is caused by a bruise, moderate cold (such as an icepack wrapped in cloth) will reduce the swelling.
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    Take medications. Diuretics often reduce fluid retention in patients who have edema and swelling. With medication prescribed by your doctor, the swelling in your fingers may be relieved.