Why Do Hands Swell While Running?

Why Do Hands Swell While Running?

Hands swell while running due to increased blood flow to the muscles and tissues. This is a natural response as the body works harder during physical activity.

Running stimulates circulation, causing blood to rush to the hands, leading to temporary swelling. The repetitive motion and impact while running can also restrict proper circulation, contributing to swelling in the hands. Additionally, the heat generated during exercise can cause blood vessels to dilate, further exacerbating the swelling.

Understanding why hands swell during running can help individuals adjust their technique or use supportive gear to alleviate discomfort and promote better circulation throughout the body.

Why Do Hands Swell While Running?

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Causes Of Hand Swelling While Running

When it comes to running, it’s not uncommon for your hands to swell. Understanding why this happens can help you take necessary precautions and minimize discomfort. The causes of hand swelling while running can be attributed to dehydration and poor circulation.


Dehydration, which occurs when the body loses more fluids than it takes in, can lead to hand swelling during running. When the body lacks sufficient water, blood vessels may constrict, causing circulation to slow down. As a result, fluid retention in the hands can occur, leading to swelling.

Poor Circulation

Poor blood circulation is also a common culprit behind hand swelling during running. When blood flow is insufficient, the hands may not receive an adequate supply of oxygen and nutrients, leading to swelling. Conditions such as narrowed blood vessels, or poor heart function may contribute to this issue.

Effects Of Hand Swelling While Running

Pain And Discomfort

Running with swollen hands can cause pain and discomfort.

Impaired Performance

Hand swelling can hinder optimal performance during a run.

Preventing Hand Swelling While Running

Drink enough water before, during, and after your run to prevent dehydration.

Always spend time warming up and stretching your hands and arms to improve blood flow.

Why Do Hands Swell While Running?

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Treatment For Hand Swelling While Running

When it comes to running, it’s not uncommon for runners to experience hand swelling, a sensation that can be discomforting and concerning. However, the good news is that there are effective treatments that can help alleviate hand swelling while running, allowing you to enjoy your runs without the discomfort and worry.

Rest And Elevation

If you notice swelling in your hands while running, it’s important to take a break and allow your hands to rest. Elevating your hands above heart level can also help reduce swelling by promoting better circulation and drainage of excess fluid. Taking short breaks during your run to relax and elevate your hands can make a significant difference in managing hand swelling.

Ice Packs Or Cold Compress

Using ice packs or a cold compress on swollen hands can provide immediate relief by reducing inflammation and numbing the sensation of swelling. Wrap the ice pack or cold compress in a towel and apply it to the affected areas for 10-15 minutes at a time. This can help constrict blood vessels and reduce swelling, allowing you to continue your run with more comfort.

When To Seek Medical Attention

If you experience hand swelling while running, it is essential to understand when it’s time to seek medical attention. While it’s normal for your hands to swell during exercise due to increased blood flow, there are certain signs that may indicate a more serious problem. It’s important to pay attention to persistent swelling and any accompanying numbness or tingling sensations. Ignoring these symptoms could potentially lead to further complications. Here’s what you need to know about when to seek medical attention for hand swelling while running.

Persistent Swelling

If your hands remain swollen for an extended period after running, it may be a cause for concern. While temporary swelling can be a normal part of the body’s response to physical activity, persistent swelling could indicate an underlying issue. This could potentially be a sign of inflammation, tendonitis, or even an injury such as a stress fracture. It’s crucial to monitor the duration and severity of the swelling. If it persists or worsens over time, it’s time to consult a medical professional.

Numbness Or Tingling

Another red flag to look out for when experiencing hand swelling while running is the presence of numbness or tingling sensations. While occasional tingling can be harmless, persistent or recurrent numbness can be indicative of nerve compression or damage. This can occur due to various factors, such as excessive swelling putting pressure on the nerves or incorrect positioning during exercise. If you frequently experience numbness or tingling in your hands during or after running, it’s essential to seek medical attention to prevent further complications.

Why Do Hands Swell While Running?

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Frequently Asked Questions For Why Do Hands Swell While Running?

Why Do Your Hands Swell When You Run?

Running causes blood vessels in the hands to expand due to increased blood flow and fluid retention.

How Can You Prevent Hands From Swelling While Running?

To prevent hand swelling while running, wear compression gloves and elevate your hands after a run.

What Are The Potential Causes Of Hand Swelling During Running?

Hand swelling during running can be caused by poor circulation, dehydration, or an underlying medical condition.


To sum up, swelling hands during running is a common issue caused by increased blood flow and the impact of repetitive motion. Understanding the causes and taking preventative measures, such as proper hydration and hand positioning, can help alleviate swelling and discomfort.

By being mindful of these factors, runners can enjoy a more comfortable and efficient experience.

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