Swollen Hands When Exercising

Swollen Hands When Exercising & Running – A Complete Guide

Swollen hands when exercising is a fairly common problem. However, the cause isn’t still completely clear. It doesn’t matter the fitness level you have or even your age. Many people struggle with swelling in the hands regardless.

So what causes swollen hands when running or any other exercise for that matter?

In this article, we discuss swollen hands when exercising. We also discuss prevention methods that may help prevent this from happening in the future. So, if you struggle with this and are unsure what the issue is, keep reading.

Swollen Hands When Exercising

Even though the cause of hand swelling during exercise isn’t clear, there has been a small amount of research done. The research found that it may be a result of the blood vessel’s response to the training.

Since exercise increases blow flow to the heart and lungs, it can often reduce the blood flow to the hands. This can result in the blood vessels of the hands opening wide. A result that can lead to swollen hands when running or exercising.

Another factor may be heat. As you exercise your muscles generate heat which pushes blood to the vessels. This causes the vessels closest to the surface of your skin to dissipate heat. The result of this triggers perspiration, which can also contribute to swelling of the hands during exercise.

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However, for some athletes (especially endurance athletes), hyponatremia is common. This is caused by low levels of sodium in the body. Over hydrating during a strenuous event may cause your body’s sodium levels to drop, causing a rapid drop in sodium levels.

While it is not as common as the other two causes of hand swelling, it may contribute to swollen hands during and after exercising. But generally, vomiting and confusion are much more common in hyponatremia than hand swelling.

What Are Swollen Hands A Sign of?

While there can be many reasons behind swollen hands during exercise, there might be a sign of something more serious.

If you struggle with swollen hands when not exercising, it may be caused by fluid retention, arthritis, or a rise in your body temperature.

Some of these causes will naturally improve on their own. However, others can become much more dangerous and you may need to seek medical advice. Because it may end up damaging the structures of your hand.

Other things like temperature can play a role in hand swelling. Running, walking or general exercise in cold weather can end up causing the hands to swell, just like hotter weather.

So, it is important to wear the correct clothing when running below zero degrees. While in hotter weather, make sure you hydrate enough.


Why Do My Hands Swell When I Run?

During a run, your circulation increases, which means all the small blood vessels in your hands open up. This can cause fluid leaks between the cells, which can cause your hands and fingers to swell.

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Alternatively, weather conditions and tense hands may cause slight swelling. Overhydration during the long run can also play a factor. However, most of the time it is not dangerous. You will find swelling will disappear not too long after your run.

However, if swelling in the hands is happening regularly, it is wise to speak with a professional, as there may be some underlying issues.

Swollen Hands When Running

How To Prevent Hand Swelling While Running?

Unfortunately, there is no proven method to prevent hand swelling when running or doing another form of exercise.

However, some of these tips may help ease discomfort and reduce the amount of swelling.

– Make sure you remove any rings before exercising
– Loosen your watch strap before starting to exercise
– When exercising, try to perform circular movements of the hands now and then
– Stretch your fingers, hands, and wrist several times during exercise
– Make sure your gloves have enough room for perspiration

Other things like ice may help to reduce the swelling after a run. However, during a run, some of the above tips will help to reduce and prevent swelling. Alternatively, regular movement of the fingers, wrist, and hand will help to reduce the swelling.


Why Do My Fingers Swell When Exercising?

Just like your whole hand, it is not uncommon to have swelling in the fingers only when exercising.

The reason is the same as your hand swelling. Fluid between the cells may leak, your blood vessels will expand or you may be overhydrating causing a drop in sodium levels.

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However, other things like rings or tight gloves can cause restriction of blood flow during exercise. This can also cause swelling in the fingers.

Luckily there is nothing to worry about, as it is usually temporary. Generally, most swelling in the fingers will disappear after a few hours.


Bottom Line

Hand or finger swelling during exercise is usually not a cause of concern. Moving the arms, fingers, and hands during exercise can help alleviate the swelling. If, however, the swelling is accompanied by confusion, headaches, or weakness, you may be running low on electrolytes. This can be dangerous. So, if this is happening regularly, you may need to speak with your physician.

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