Swollen hands in the morning: Causes, treatment, and remedies

Swollen hands in the morningSwollen hands in the morning could be a result of various conditions including arthritis. Experiencing swollen hands in the morning can make normal morning tasks – like getting dressed or making breakfast – quite challenging. If swollen hands in the morning are a regular occurrence, a person may have to find new ways to maneuver around as a means to compensate for the swollen hands. By understanding and becoming aware of the underlying cause of swollen hands in the morning, you can begin to treat the condition and get back feeling yourself once again.

Causes of swollen hands and fingers in the morning

As mentioned, there are numerous causes for swollen hands in the morning that range in severity. Some of the causes for swollen hands have a very easy natural fix and other causes may require medical intervention. Here are the most common causes of swollen hands in the morning to be aware of.


Dehydration or insufficient water intake: When the body is dehydrated it goes into starvation mode, meaning the body will retain fluid and will swell as a result. As long as you consume enough water throughout the day, your body will not need to hold onto water, thus reducing swollen hands in the morning.

Sleeping posture: Sleeping in abnormal positions can lead to body parts swelling. For example, sleeping with your wrist bent can prevent fluid and circulation from going to the hands, thus causing them to swell.

Arthritis: Arthritis can cause inflammation within the joints, and smaller joints – those found in the hands – are often the first to be affected. This swelling may only be temporary or until you take medication for your arthritis.

Kidney issues: The kidneys help cleanse the body and remove excess water and toxins. If excess water is not released, it can be kept within the body contributing to swelling.

Severe allergies: Having allergies can result in watery, itchy eyes or stuffy nose, but they may also lead to swelling. Taking an antihistamine can greatly reduce swelling of hands in the morning due to allergies.

Pregnancy: Because the fetus is taking nutrients from the mother (who may also be consuming too much salt during this period of her life), a woman may end up with swollen hands in the morning during pregnancy.

Poor diet with high sodium: High sodium content in the diet can result in swelling as sodium retains water. It’s important that you eat a healthy diet low in sodium and sugar, and that you always check labels for sodium and sugar content to be on the safe side.

Overuse of specific joints: Completing repetitive motions with the same joint as well as strenuous activities can result in swelling.

Injury: Swelling will occur as a result of injury. This is temporary and can be reduced by icing the injury or allowing it to heal.

Carpal tunnel syndrome: Overuse of the wrist can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. Not sleeping with a splint at night can have your wrist bending in all sorts of ways, which can aggravate the condition and thus cause swollen hands in the morning.

Other causes: Other causes of swollen hands in the morning include certain medications, pseudo-gout – with urate crystals form in the joints, and osteoarthritis characterized by cartilage degeneration.

Treatment of swollen hands and fingers in the morning

handsIdentifying your underlying cause of swollen hands and fingers in the morning will help you pick a suitable treatment. Some effective tips include elevating the hands above the heart and holding them there for a few moments, using ice packs to decrease swelling, and completing hand exercises or massages to boost circulation.


Other solutions may be consuming plenty of water, checking sodium levels in your diet, treating arthritis, wearing a wrist splint, checking your medications for any swelling side effects, avoiding overuse of the hands and fingers, and treating any kidney problems you may have.

Tips to avoid swollen hands and fingers in the morning

There are ways you can reduce the swelling. Here are some of those tips to prevent sausage-like hands and fingers in the morning.

  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day
  • Wear compression gloves
  • Perform hand exercises whenever you can
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Eat a balanced and healthy diet
  • Take anti-inflammatory medications
  • Rest your hands after a long days work
  • Ensure you are sleeping in a proper posture
  • Lose weight if you are overweight or maintain a healthy weight

If your swollen hands result from a deeper rooted medical problem, speak to your doctor about what you can do to reduce swelling.

Author Bio

Emily Lunardo studied medical sociology at York University with a strong focus on the social determinants of health and mental illness. She is a registered Zumba instructor, as well as a Canfit Pro trainer, who teaches fitness classes on a weekly basis. Emily practices healthy habits in her own life as well as helps others with their own personal health goals. Emily joined Bel Marra Health as a health writer in 2013.



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