Swelling hands

When I run for a long time, my hands begin to swell up really badly and then begin to hurt. Does anyone know why this is, and what can I do about it?


  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭
    I don't know why this happens, but it seems to be quite common. I find wriggling my fingers every 10-15 minutes helps a bit, and running them under cold water when I get home helps reduce the swelling quite quickly, both of which suggest it may be a circulation thing.
  • Two reasons - increased skin blood flow and gravity. It can be uncomfortable, especially in hot weather, but isn't anything to worry about. Short of running with your arms above your head, there's not much you can do to prevent it.

    If your hands actually become painful or partly numb when they swell, you may be developing a condition called carpal tunnel syndrome, where the thick gristly band that holds all the nerves, tendons and blood vesseld together in your wrist becomes thickened and presses on a nerve. If this were the case, I'd expect you to have sore tingling hands when you wake up in the morning too. This would be a reason to see your doctor.

    Cheers, V-rap.
  • Cheers V-rap!
    Maybe I'll start a new trend and begin running with my hands above my head then. Could be interesting! I'm all for doing something a bit daft!!
  • i have the same problem
    It might be that you dont move your arms enough when running, seeing a photo of me running made that point
  • I too have this, for years now, it only gets really bad in hot weather, I use a cold sponge which seems to help relieve it.
  • I only get this when I'm running (or walking fast) with weight on my back. It doesn't have to be much, either - even 20lbs on longer distances causes the dreaded "tabbing hands!" Of course in this case it's due to a slight circulation restriction caused by the straps exerting pressure; it goes away quickly when the weight is removed, and is often scarcely noticeable even when it does occur.
  • I have had the same problem mountaineering. The only solution I have found is to raise the hands by your shoulder/head to assist blood flow away from the fingers. Making my hands into a fist in rapid succession also relieves the pressure and reduces the swelling a bit. Hope this helps...
  • I have noticed this when i'm out walking/backpacking and solve it by tucking my thumbs into the backpack straps at about mid-chest height, and giving them regular stretches. strangely enough, it doesn't happend when i'm running, but having seem photographs, i run with my hands at about waist, lower chest level and they move around quite a bit as well.
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