Why Do Your Hands Swell When You Walk? 4 Causes and How to Prevent It

Photo of author

Have you ever experienced the discomfort of swelling in your hands while walking? If so, you may be curious about the underlying causes and seeking advice on how to avoid this issue. In this article, we will explore the possible reasons behind hand swelling during walking and provide some helpful tips to prevent it.

Understanding the Causes of Hand Swelling

Hand swelling during walking can occur due to various factors, ranging from fluid retention and poor circulation to allergic reactions and muscle fatigue. By understanding these causes, you can better identify the root of your problem and take appropriate measures to alleviate the swelling.

Cause 1: Fluid Retention and Edema

One common cause of hand swelling while walking is fluid retention, also known as edema. Edema can result from an imbalance in the body’s fluid levels, often caused by factors such as excessive sodium intake, hormonal changes, or certain medical conditions like kidney or heart problems.

To address fluid retention, it is important to maintain a balanced diet, limiting your sodium intake and consuming foods rich in potassium. Staying hydrated and engaging in regular physical activity can also help improve circulation and reduce swelling.

Cause 2: Poor Circulation and Blood Flow

Another potential cause of hand swelling during walking is poor circulation and blood flow. When blood circulation is compromised, it can lead to fluid buildup and subsequent swelling in the hands.

To enhance circulation, consider incorporating exercises that promote blood flow into your routine, such as hand and finger stretches, or squeezing a stress ball. Additionally, wearing compression gloves or garments may aid in improving blood circulation and reducing hand swelling.

Cause 3: Allergic Reactions and Inflammation

Allergic reactions and inflammation can also contribute to hand swelling while walking. If you have an allergic response to certain substances, such as insect bites or specific chemicals, your body may release histamines that trigger swelling and inflammation.

To prevent allergic reactions, it is essential to identify the allergens that affect you and take necessary precautions, such as avoiding contact with them or using protective measures like gloves. If you experience severe allergic reactions, consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Cause 4: Overexertion and Muscle Fatigue

Overexertion and muscle fatigue can cause temporary hand swelling during walking, especially if you engage in activities that require repetitive hand movements or excessive force. Poor ergonomics, such as gripping objects too tightly or using improper form, can exacerbate this issue.

To prevent overexertion and muscle fatigue, practice proper hand and body mechanics during physical activities. Take regular breaks, perform stretching exercises, and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts to avoid straining your hands and causing unnecessary swelling.

Advice to Avoid Hand Swelling While Walking

Now that we have explored the main causes of hand swelling during walking, let’s discuss some practical advice to help you avoid this discomfort:

  1. Stay hydrated: Drinking an adequate amount of water can help maintain a healthy fluid balance in your body and reduce the risk of fluid retention.
  2. Maintain a balanced diet: Limit your sodium intake and include potassium-rich foods in your meals, such as bananas, spinach, and avocados. This can help regulate fluid levels and prevent edema.
  3. Incorporate hand exercises: Perform regular hand and finger stretches to improve circulation and reduce swelling. Squeezing a stress ball or using hand exercise devices can also be beneficial.
  4. Use compression gloves or garments: Wearing compression gloves can aid in improving blood circulation and reducing hand swelling during walking.
  5. Practice proper hand and body mechanics: Be mindful of your hand movements and avoid excessive force or repetitive actions that may lead to overexertion and muscle fatigue. Use ergonomic tools or seek professional guidance if needed.

By following these suggestions and understanding the causes behind hand swelling while walking, you can take proactive steps to minimize discomfort and enjoy your walks to the fullest.


Q1: Can medication cause hand swelling during walking?

A1: Yes, certain medications can cause fluid retention and swelling in the hands as a side effect. If you suspect your medication is contributing to the swelling, consult your healthcare provider for further evaluation.

Q2: How long does hand swelling usually last?

A2: The duration of hand swelling can vary depending on the underlying cause. In most cases, mild swelling should subside within a few hours or days. However, if the swelling persists or worsens, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional.

Q3: Are there any home remedies to reduce hand swelling?

A3: Yes, elevating your hands above heart level, applying cold compresses, and practicing gentle hand massages may help alleviate swelling. However, if home remedies do not provide relief or your condition worsens, seek medical advice.

Q4: Can hand swelling be a sign of an underlying medical condition?

A4: Yes, hand swelling can sometimes be a symptom of an underlying medical condition, such as kidney or heart problems. If you experience persistent or recurring hand swelling, especially accompanied by other concerning symptoms, consult a healthcare professional for an evaluation.

Q5: Does hand swelling during walking affect both hands equally?

A5: Hand swelling can affect both hands equally or may be more prominent in one hand than the other. The extent of swelling can vary depending on factors like the underlying cause and individual circumstances.

Q6: Can hand swelling during walking be prevented by wearing gloves?

A6: While wearing gloves may provide some protection and support, it may not necessarily prevent hand swelling. Addressing the underlying causes, such as fluid retention or poor circulation, and practicing proper hand mechanics are more effective approaches to prevent swelling.

Q7: When should I seek medical attention for hand swelling during walking?

A7: If your hand swelling is severe, accompanied by severe pain or other concerning symptoms, or if it persists despite home remedies, it is advisable to seek medical attention for a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Leave a Comment