Issue du jour – swollen fingers

Yes, more posts from me lately.

I like to write.  I also think a lot.  So when I have time to write, I do it to get my thoughts out and in hopes that maybe, just maybe, some of what’s in my head will be helpful or at least interesting to others.

So when I am able to post more, I will.    I’d say once a week is still the standard, but when I can, I will post more frequently.

So back to the topic of this post…

My fingers swell when I run.  Back in the day when I used to run a little, this also happened, so it’s nothing new. However as the runs get longer, it becomes more noticeable.

As a result, I try to periodically open and close my hands, making fists, wiggling my fingers, and rolling my wrists.  I’m not sure that it does anything, but it makes me feel better to try…and it makes it much more fun for those driving by.

After Sunday’s run it was particularly bad, so as we walked I put my hands over my head, still circling my wrists and moving my fingers.  I don’t think it did anything, but once I got home, I was distracted and then it went away.

So….to Google I went.  And while I didn’t learn much, I did find this interesting.

Hand swelling during exercise is a fairly common problem. The cause isn’t completely clear, but hand swelling appears to be a result of the way your body and blood vessels respond to the increased energy demands of your muscles during exercise.

Exercise increases blood flow to your heart and lungs, as well as to the muscles you’re working. This reduces blood flow to your hands, making them cooler. In turn, the blood vessels in your hands may overreact by opening wider — which could lead to hand swelling.

As you continue to exercise, your muscles generate heat that makes your system push blood to the vessels closest to the surface of your body, to dissipate heat. This response triggers perspiration and may also contribute to hand swelling.

Thanks Mayo Clinic!

And from another source:

One reason for swollen fingers and toes after running is an electrolyte imbalance. The salt in your blood must be kept in balance to prevent swelling in your tissues.

So if you lose too much salt (through sweat) or you have too much salt in your diet, you may notice swelling in your extremities first.

Both articles also mentioned hyponatremia, which is a serious condition and is typically accompanies by vomiting and confusion.  So don’t take the swelling lightly if it’s paired with these other symptoms.

In summary though, this isn’t a serious issue and should resolve itself within an hour after a run.  Phew.

Have you experienced this?

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2 thoughts on “Issue du jour – swollen fingers

  1. Hi Jessica! while my running days are over due to the pain and torture it was causing my knees, this happens to me all the time when I walk! My husband and and I walk for about an hour most nights and it almost always happens. It does go away but it really feels weird. I was so glad when I read your post to know that I’m not alone! :). Keep on posting-love reading your updates.

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