The hands and the limbs are parts of the body that are prone to swelling because of a variety of reasons, such as water retention, injury, arthritis, and a number of other underlying medical conditions. Swollen hands can be very uncomfortable and painful. Even worse, it is usually very difficult to work when your hands are swollen. Here’s how you can treat swollen hands.
Cold water. The easiest solution is to use cold water to cool down your hands. Cooling down your hands will prevent excess blood from flowing into the hands, which usually causes the swelling especially if the swollen hand is caused by an injury. Take a bowl that is large enough for you to place your entire hand into, including the wrists. Add water and ice cubes and submerge your hands for around ten minutes, or for as long as you can withstand the cold. Repeat this with five minute intervals for about an hour, or for about five dips in water. The cold water will constrict your blood vessels and prevent blood from flowing into your hands.
Elevation. Another technique to remove the swelling in your hands is by sitting on a chair facing the wall. Place your hands flat on the wall with your fingers pointing upwards. The elevated position will naturally push blood downwards, into the rest of the body and will remove pressure from the hands. You can also close your hands slowly so that the blood in the hands is forced to move and circulate, which will facilitate the faster flow of blood down to the rest of the body. You can also try moving your fingers, if clenching your fist is too difficult.
Diet. In some cases, the cause of swollen hands is diet. If you notice that your hands and limbs swell at the same time, this may be due to water retention. One of the substances that promote water retention is salt. If your hands tend to swell after a particularly salty meal, you should try cutting back on salts in your dishes and in your snacks. Almost all packaged foods and processed foods contain a high amount of salt and should be avoided. If you are going to eat processed foods such as smoked hams and sausages which have plenty of salt, you can rinse these in water before cooking, or broil them to wash out the excess salt.
Medication. There are a number of over the counter drugs that you can use to alleviate swelling, including ibuprofen. Medication can be used if you experience a sudden swelling of the hands. If you cannot call your doctor or get a consult immediately, the best thing will be to use ibuprofen or other OTC drugs designed to minimize the swelling.
Massage. You can also give the affected hand a slow and gentle massage. The aim of the massage is to get the blood to circulate out of the hand and into the rest of the body. Start by gently massaging the fingers, before moving on to the palm of the hands. Afterwards, give the entire hand a gentle rolling massage out to the wrist and into the body.
Get relief from swollen hands through these techniques. If the swelling continues, visit your doctor.