What Causes Swelling in the Hands and Fingers?

Some causes of swelling in the hands and fingers include fluid retention, being overweight, trauma or injury, infection, or an inflammatory condition such as arthritis, according to Healthgrades. It can also indicate a serious condition that requires prompt medical care, such as hypothyroidism, hyponatremia or low sodium levels.

Hand swelling results from abnormal processes that cause an accumulation of fluid or inflammation of hand joints or tissues, explains Healthgrades. It sometimes occurs temporarily during or after exercise. The symptom may also develop gradually and lead to chronic hand swelling due to arthritis or another inflammatory process. A bone fracture or an overly tight cast are also possible causes of hand swelling.

Pregnant women and those with premenstrual syndrome may experience temporary hand swelling, states Healthgrades. A hand injury, laceration, torn ligament, pulled muscle or repetitive stress injury are injury-related causes of swollen hands.

Hand swelling may indicate a severe condition, which is why it is essential to contact a health care provider immediately if experiencing swelling accompanied by other symptoms, such as pain, redness, warmth or high fever, notes Healthgrades. Fever and chills are typical accompanying symptoms of hand swelling that signal an infection. An infected wound, cellulitis, bursitis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are also potential causes. Medications that can lead to swollen hands include high blood pressure drugs, diabetes medications and antidepressants.