swollen hands

a female friend has started getting swollen hands when runing any great distance (30mins+).
Any ideas what this might be and what to do about it?


  • I get this too - and always have - even on a sponsored walk when I was about 14.

    My hands get swollen and look mottled white/blue - I'm sure its a circulation thing. Every few miles I run with my hands in the air, wiggling my fingers for a bit. Looks stupid I know, but so what!
  • I used to get this after dance class - couldn't put my rings back on my fingers. I think the cause was simply dehydration. The same probably also applies to running.
  • I get this too, i think it's to do with increased circulation and dehydration, not sure... I just take my rings off before I run, I don't think there's much you can do unless there's something else wrong. If it's severe, ask a doc (or v-rap)
  • I get exactly the same thing too, I have tried drinking plently before I run, sometimes it works othertimes it doesn't. It also depends on how tired I am so I am certain it's a circulation thing. Good suggestion from Jo re hands in the air, always works for me!
  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭
    Yep, me too. It's gradually improved, so now instead of half an hour, it's about an hour's worth of running before they get bad. I'll be like a sea-lion by the end of the marathon, but it does go away fairly quickly.
  • I suffer this too, but only when running in really hot weather, never in winter. My fingers swell and my hands get really hot.I handle it by carrying a sponge and taking advantage of any running water I pass, streams, fountains, garden hoses, etc. Keeping my hands cooler seems to help reduce the swelling and tightness in my fingers.
  • Boing for anna
  • I suddenly noticed this yesterday after 10 miles. Is it dehydration? Never had it before.
  • It's a combination of gravity and increased blood flow to your hands. The reason you don't also get swollen feet is that the muscle pumps in your legs are efficient at getting the blood back through the veins so that, unlike in your hands, the fluid part of the blood can't leak through tiny holes in the capillaries (tiny blood vessels) under pressure and collect under your skin.

    It's a harmless phenomenon, much more likely to happen in hot weather or if you're overdressed, and should settle quite quickly on stopping running.
  • Oooh!!!!! I got all excited then cos I thought Alan was back, and then I saw the date of the thread and was all sad again.

    And then I got to the bottom and saw that he really IS back!

    Hi Alan (Sassie waves vigorously in a very uncool-like way) xx
  • overdressed...?

    ...actually, that might be it.

    I normally wear short sleeve T-shirts but wimped out and wore a new long sleeve Ron Hill Viloft T-shirt and a Ron Hill hat; and for good measure a Ron Hill Horizon windproof jacket... along with Ron Hill socks and Ron Hill leggings (just how much is the Man worth? I admit I did ponder that question towards the end of the run when my mind started wandering.)

  • Alan, you rascal, you KNEW all along, dintcha?

    How's things? >Jumps up and down and waves even more uncoolly than Sassie.<
  • I never knew that - although it does make sense

    hope you are all ok - I may come back again when I am worthy!
  • Worthy? As in, what?
  • I had swollen fingers and hands during the Stratford 1/2.I knew I wasn't over hydrated,so I kept on moving them and after a good while they seemed to reduce and not feel so tight.
  • Hi

    I am new here. I also suffer from swollen fingers during running and they feel very hot too. I wear Nikefit clothing and Addidas climacool, so don't think I am wearing the wrong sort of gear.

    I also find it goes away not long after I have finished. I can remember the first time I really thought about it was after I did the Great Baddow 10 mile run in Chelmsford a couple of months ago.

    I also drink plenty of water on a regular basis and don't drink tea or coffee.

    Any ideas to relieve this would be much appreciated.
  • Hi, I nearly always suffer with swollen hands when running, but today I ran 8 miles and they were fine, and I had coffee before hand, so don't think that makes much diff to swelling. I didn't wear any rings today though, so who knows!!
  • Hi.  I ran my first 1/2 marathon three weeks ago and during this race I experienced swelling in my fingers for the first time ever.  I was carrying a bottle of water in my right hand throughout the entire race, and this hand remained fine.  But my left hand, which just kind of hung there while I ran, was badly affected.  At a certain point (more than halfway but can't remember exactly when) I happened to look at my left hand and was completely shocked to see all my fingers extremely swollen and very white.  I hadn't notice it happen - they were just like that.  I tried flexing my fingers - they were really fat and stiff.  As I say, I had never experienced that before and it really frightened me.  It didn't go away until I finished the race.  Once I'd stopped running it cleared up pretty quickly though.  I suppose there could be several reasons for it.  But I do think it's interesting that it only happened in the hand that didn't have "a job" to do during the race.  Perhaps the act of gripping the water bottle prevented the fingers in my right hand from swelling up also?

     In any case, I am relieved to discover that I'm not the only one who has had this happen to them!  Because I mentioned it to a couple of friends of mine who run and they had never heard of it before.

  • I get this too, but not all the time.  I've always assumed that the blood 'pools' in my hands and that this is affected by all sorts of factors (temperature, my hydration etc).  I've never been concerned - don't wear rings so never got anything stuck or sore and, like everyone else, it clears up fairly quickly after a run (I get it on long walks too).  Nice explanation upthread - glad there's nothing to worry about!!
  • I am running my first marathon, and my right hand has been swollen/ red/ itchy for a while now. This is only in one hand. Has anyone experienced the same thing? Getting slightly worried!!

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