Chrome 2001
.
Aetna Intelihealth InteliHealth Aetna Intelihealth Aetna Intelihealth
 
.
. .
.
Chrome 2001
Chrome 2001
InteliHealth
Ask the Doc
4464
Ask the Doc
Ask The Expert
Harvard Medical School
Image of a cadeusus
. .
General Medical Questions
.
Question : What would cause unexplained swelling of the hands?
.
.
.
The Trusted Source
.
.
Howard LeWine, M.D.

Robert H. Shmerling, M.D. is associate physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and associate professor at Harvard Medical School. He has been a practicing rheumatologist for over 20 years at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He is an active teacher in the Internal Medicine Residency Program, serving as the Robinson Firm Chief. He is also a teacher in the Rheumatology Fellowship Program.

.
.
January 10, 2014
.

There are a number of causes for hand swelling.  Some of the most common include:

  • Fracture, ligament damage or other injury.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis or another type of arthritis.
  • An allergic reaction (in which the swelling is often accompanied by a rash).
  • Excessive fluid in the body (edema). This is more common in the feet and legs than in the hands, but may involve the upper extremities in severe cases.
  • Raynaud’s phenomenon. A common condition in which the blood vessels narrow excessively in response to cold or other stress. The fingers may temporarily turn white or even blue. But with warming, the blood vessels open up leading to redness and swelling in the fingers.
  • Exercise-related swelling. For reasons that are not well understood, some people experience swelling in the hands with exercise.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Certain medications.

To sort out which of these might be causing your symptoms, I’d need additional details. For example, it would help to know if the swelling followed an injury or use of a new medicine, whether there is pain or limited joint motion, or whether there is swelling elsewhere in the body, especially the legs.

Describe your symptoms to your doctor. A thorough review of your symptoms and a physical exam will usually lead to an explanation, although blood tests and x-rays may be needed in some cases.  Fortunately, the diagnosis and treatment of hand swelling is usually straightforward.

.
.
InteliHealth
.
Ask A Question
.
.
InteliHealth
Do You Have A Question?
.
. . .
.
Ask The Expert Archives
Topics
.
InteliHealth
.
InteliHealth

    Print Printer-friendly format    
   
dmtatd
dmtATD
dmtatd
126747
InteliHealth
1998-05-15
f
InteliHealth
NULL
411, 4464, 4581, 4582, 7991, 7992, 7995, 7996, 7997, 8122, 8438, 8463, 8464, 8465, 8466, 8467, 8468, 8469, 8470, 8471, 8472, 8473, 8474, 8475, 8476, 8477, 8479, 8480, 8481, 8482, 8483, 8484, 8486, 8487, 8488, 8489, 8490, 8760, 14219, 20807, 21346, 21349, 21351, 23926, 23938, 24017, 24025, 24075, 24151, 24510, 24519, 24549, 24869, 24878, 25107, 25518, 25646, 25968, 29367, 29516, 29595, 48666, 48812, 59367,
4581
.
.  
This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify.
.