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Hand Swelling

Could Hand Swelling be a Sign of Something Serious?

Lots of folks experience hand swelling at one time or another.  By itself, hand swelling doesn’t actually indicate a serious condition.  However, with other symptoms, it could be a sign of more worrisome conditions. 

Let’s consider some of the causes of hand swelling.

Trauma to the Hand

This is pretty obvious, but if your have hurt your hand recently you may have broken a bone in hand causing swelling as a result.  So if you smacked your hand, or closed the door on it, that might be the reason why your hand is swelling.

If you have carpal tunnel syndrome this may also be the cause of your swelling.  A prolonged bout of carpal tunnel is basically a form of prolonged injury to the hand.  So if you have swelling on the hand that suffers from CTS, that may be the cause.

Pregnancy and Menstruation

If you are pregnant you may find that hand swelling is one of your symptoms.  You will also have foot swelling and several other bodily changes. These changes are due in part to the extra pressure that is applied to the circulatory system by the size and weight of the growing uterus.

A woman may experience swollen hands during her period as well because of the build up of hormones and fluids in the body.

Now those are pretty obvious causes for hands swelling but I doubt that you are trying to find out the cause of your hand swelling if one of these is the cause.  More likely than not, you have a less obvious cause for your hand swelling.

Swelling Due to High Salt

If you find that your hands tend to swell after you go for a vigorous walk or run, this may be to excessive salt intake in your diet.  Many people who go for vigorous walks or runs will sometimes experience a swelling of the hands afterwards.  The usual cause of this condition is excessive salt intake. 

Weather and Altitude

Many people are particularly responsive to temperature and pressure conditions.  Many people will complain of swollen hands on hot summer days.  Others will notice their swelling during the coldest days of winter.  Still others claim that altitude has an effect on their swelling, claiming that they only experience the condition when they are vacationing at high altitudes.


Another chronic condition that sometimes manifests itself in hand swelling is arthritis.  Since arthritis is a swelling of the joints, this may be perceived from the outside as a swelling of the hand itself.  This swelling will generally be accompanied by joint pain.

Bug Bite Allergy

If you don’t generally experience hand swelling, you may want to search for signs of a bug bite.  Many people will experience swelling as an allergic reaction to a bug bite.  If you remember being bitten or if you find a tiny puncture in the skin consistent with a bug bite, this may well be the cause.


If swelling does not disappear with rest and time, this may be a sign of a more serious underlying condition.

In addition, if you experience hand swelling along with nausea, weight gain, dizziness, difficulty breathing or high blood pressure, this may be the sign of a serious underlying condition and you should seek the advice of a medical professional. Combined with these other symptoms, swollen hands may indicate an underlying kidney, heart or liver problem.  These can have very serious health effects so you should consult a doctor if they occur.

If however you just experience a swelling of your hands once, it goes away after some rest and it does not reoccur, then you probably need not worry about the cause.  Such minor symptoms happen all the time and in themselves need not be a cause for worry.



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