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Why Are My Fingers Swollen When I Wake Up?

Updated on September 3, 2016
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Trained in dentistry, Sree is currently studying lab sciences. She enjoys researching various health topics and writing about her findings.

Some people wake up in the middle of the night and say "why are my fingers swollen?" A swollen finger may indicate an inflammation of the joints or tissues of the finger. Other than inflammation, there is an accumulation of fluid in the fingers probably caused by severe infection, trauma, or other anomalous processes. Generally, fluid buildup or retention can occur in the course of pregnancy or when a woman has premenstrual syndrome immediately before menstruation. When only one of the fingers is swollen, probable causes may include infection, trauma, or arthritis which is an inflammatory condition.

When a person starts to ask, "Why are my fingers swollen?" This can be caused by a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention. A physician needs to be consulted right away about this symptom and other accompanying issues like fever, chills, redness, pain, and warmth on the site. Symptoms may vary contingent to the patient's underlying medical condition.

Why are my fingers swollen?
Why are my fingers swollen? | Source

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Why Are My Fingers Swollen? : Causes

Some of the causes for an individual to wonder, "Why are my fingers swollen when i wake up?"

The swelling can be caused by several scenarios. Learning about the medical cause of this condition can help a lot in planning a proper treatment for the patient. Aside from injury, inflammatory disease, and other causes, a swollen finger can also be due to emergent cases such as a broken bone or infection caused by bacteria.

  • Injury : This is one of the typical problems that can cause swelling. Fluids in the body including the blood may start to build up in the affected part and cause swelling. An injury may first be managed with cold application to constrict the blood vessels. Heat may be applied after to get rid of the fluids that accumulated at the site or affected area. If the injury or bump continues to be inflamed for more than two weeks, it needs to be examined by a physician immediately. The symptoms may worsen and become more frequent, or an infection may start to develop.
  • Allergic reaction : As the body ingests food or comes across things that may cause allergy, it transports histamines into the blood that circulates the body. To diminish the swelling, doctors recommend antihistamines. When the patient has a hard time breathing following an allergic reaction, he or she must be seen immediately by a health care professional that can alleviate his discomfort.
  • Obesity : Swelling can be caused by being severely overweight. When an individual is obese, this condition causes the lymphatic system to decelerate which can result to the swelling of hands and feet. In this situation, a dietitian can be very helpful. The doctor or dietitian can devise a weight loss program for the obese patient who raises the question, "why are my fingers swollen?"
  • Compressed nerve : The hands may be suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome. This is a painful condition that affects the hands and fingers due to a compressed major nerve that goes over the carpal bones. This may be caused by continual repetitive actions or fluid accumulation.
  • Infection : Another problem could be infection or cellulitis. This is a severe bacterial infection of the skin that can spread quickly. There are bacterial infections affecting the hands or fingers that can get into the blood and lymph nodes. Any possible infection must be consulted to a doctor.

Why are my fingers swollen? Causes
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Ways to manage swollen fingers
Ways to manage swollen fingers | Source

Ways to manage swollen fingers

  • Limit salt intake. The body tends to retain water and other fluids because of the excessive amount of salt taken in. By reducing intake, the possibility of fluid retention may also be reduced. When food becomes too tasteless because less salt is used, select other seasonings to enhance the flavor.
  • Keep the temperature inside the home and workplace at a moderate level. This promotes better blood circulation. In addition, with moderate temperature of the surroundings, finger swelling may be controlled. Extreme changes in temperature can lead to swelling of the fingers.
  • According to research studies, a hot bath, hot compress, and hot shower can worsen the swelling in the different parts of the body including the fingers. Swelling is also worsened when exposed to very cold temperatures. If it is a bruise that caused the hands or fingers to become swollen, an icepack can effectively lessen the swelling.
  • Exercise swollen fingers. Since movement increases blood flow, this can produce the needed force to drive excess fluids away from the affected area. The fingers can be moved around to drain retained fluids towards the heart. Finger exercises include flexion, shaking or moving the hands in different directions, typing, and cooking light meals, among other actions that can help diminish swelling in the hands and fingers.
  • No time for a regular daily exercise? It is always easy to find time and opportunity to take a walk fifteen minutes a day. While walking, move the hands to and fro, up and down to increase circulation.
  • When a person is obese, he or she may have a tendency to retain fluids since the lymphatic system has slowed down. If this system starts to work more efficiently, the swelling on any part of the body can be reduced. Regular exercise, healthier food choices like eating more fruits and vegetables, and taking in more fluids can help the body maximize how the lymphatic system functions in the body.
  • Rubbing or massaging. It is okay to firmly massage or rub the tissues on the fingers if swollen. The movement is always towards the direction of the heart. Hand massages can also promote blood flow in the muscles of the hands and fingers. This action can help drain the fluids that caused the swelling in the fingers. Professional massages for the hand and feet can be beneficial and there are less costly services you can avail.
  • Self-massage treatment. You can give yourself a hand massage by using the thumb and forefinger of one of your hands. Hold the base of your palm in between the thumb and forefinger of your other hand. Hold firmly and run from the base towards the end of each finger. Do this on the other hand as well.
  • Compression gloves. These gloves apply pressure to the hands and fingers to prevent accumulation of excess water and fluids.
  • Medications or diuretics. These medications prescribed by a physician are used to alleviate swelling and edema.


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