100 lb. Club - Question about hands swelling???

View Full Version : Question about hands swelling???

06-23-2003, 07:02 PM
My cousin Becky and I have been walking 2.5 miles a day, and about 10 minutes after beginning our walk, we noticed that our hands were swelling up.

My hands, and fingers felt stiff, almost sausage like. They were hard to bend. It got worse the farther we walked. As soon as we got home, and quit moving, my fingers were throbbing, and felt like they were going to burst. After running them under cool water for a few minutes they felt better.

This has happened many times before, and I was just wondering what 'could' be causing it.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance!

~ Kari ~

06-23-2003, 10:43 PM
interesting question! if it's ok with you, i'll direct nasus40 from the lowcarb board to this. she's a real smart nurse who knows many things about exercise.

but i also have a couple of thoughts... is your cousin in the same weight range as welll? and how do you two position your hands? are you among those who talk with their hands? who can't get two words out without waving around? or are your hands always at your side?

here's where i'm going: when a person is very overweight, sometimes lymphatic function is compromised. that's why our ankles swell when we sit too long. and it can affect our arms as well. if you're walking with your hands down at your side the whole time, maybe the fluid is pooling. but if you talk with your hands, thereby keeping the fluid moving, well, there goes that theory!!!

is it better/worse in cool or warm weather? [see? i might come up with another idea!]

06-23-2003, 10:52 PM

Mine do that sometimes as well. I have noticed though, if I curl my fingers into a ball, not clinching in a fist, but loosely, kind of where my thumb gently touches my index finger, like your imaginarily holding something in your hand. And gently swing my arms, my hands do not swell and get stiff. They seem to swell if you leave your arms to your side and let them hang. Im not sure if that will work for you, but it has for me.


06-23-2003, 11:06 PM
It happens to me, too, but never that bad. Curl your fingers as you're walking, that usually helps to curb it some for me.

06-23-2003, 11:19 PM
Thanks for the advice :)

My cousin and I are exactly the same weight, give or take a pound or two. When we walk, we make sure to swing our arms a little. I also make sure not to just dangle them down low, I keep my elbows bent, and my hands in a light fist, and move them as I walk.

I never notice the swelling until I open my palm up. Sometimes if I open and close my hand real quick, it seems to help a little bit, but shortly after, the throbbing and swelling come right back.

We just got back from our 2.5 mile walk and we were thinking that maybe we are taking in too much sodium, and that could be causing the swelling.

I may try to cut back on my sodium intake, and see if that helps.

If anyone has any other input or suggestions, it would be greatly appreciated! :)

Thanks again,
~ Kari ~

06-23-2003, 11:42 PM
My sis and I noticed the same thing when we were walking! She weighs 157 and I weigh 199 but we both have that happen when we walk. We didnt know why either. We never just hang our arms down tho..we move them the whole time we're walking. Hoping someone will know the definite answer and let us all know what the prob is.


06-24-2003, 03:04 AM
When I first re-start an exercise program I don't sweat. And the throbbing is very noticeable everywhere... especially thighs which feel like they have jumping beans in them or something.

Good hydration before and after and walking regularly has helped me sweat, and not feel so balloon like. Sometimes (if there's no one outside who would see me, I do aerobic arms while I walk... over my head "clapping" my elbows, or doing insane semaphor signals... My hands never get puffy when I do that.

Good luck.

06-24-2003, 07:24 AM
Hi Again,

I found this article at about.com after doing a search. Hope it helps a little more.



06-24-2003, 07:30 AM

Miss Chris

06-24-2003, 07:40 AM
I've found that minimizing the salt, upping the water, moving the arms, and supplementing my potassium has helped a lot to combat this condition. It still occurs, but not with the severity that it used to.

06-24-2003, 10:28 AM
great article kevin... thank you!!!

and we all seem to agree: it's about fluid pooling in the hands. when i walked without the dog, my hands swelled. once i added that dog on the leash, it went away. probably because of all that movement trying to control her.

and now that i'm hiking, i'm always holding onto something or trying to keep my balance, so my hands are almost never at my side.

06-24-2003, 07:07 PM
Your most welcome Jiffypop! I agree with the more water and more movement! Its really worked for me.


06-24-2003, 09:24 PM
There is a really high tech term for it in walking circles (learned it from my Avon 3 Day Walk coach)........"Mickey Mouse Hands". You are not alone. Need to just elevate your arms and wiggle every so often (looks wierd but hey- you are athletes now- what do those ordinary folks know!!! Good Luck!!!

06-25-2003, 10:54 AM
Mine do that too !!

It doesn't matter how much I weigh, 150 or 250. I notice my rings get sooo tight but then a few hrs later its all gone.

Hubby doesn't have that problem ?