17 Causes of Sore Hands and Feet: How to Treat Them

Swelling in the hands and feet shouldn’t generally be a cause for concern. Unless it comes on suddenly and is accompanied by other symptoms.

Last update : June 19, 2022

Inflammation of the hands and feet occurs for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it has to do with blood circulation, sometimes with fluid accumulation or movement and posture factors.

Most commonly, it goes away after a reasonable amount of time. If this doesn’t happen and the symptom persists, there may be a more complex health issue behind it.

Indeed this state can be a sign of serious medical conditions such as heart, kidney or liver failure. Therefore, inflammation of the hands and feet should not be neglected if they become chronic.

The most common causes of inflammation of the hands and feet

It is important to pay attention to the development of the symptom and consult a doctor if it is very pronounced or lasts a long time. Let’s see what are the main causes of this condition.

1. Lack of physical activity

Low physical activity leads to slower blood flow. This in turn, makes it difficult for blood to flow from the arms or legs to the heart. The result is swelling of the extremities.

2. Long trips

This is another cause of inflammation of the hands and feet related to the previous point. You usually stay seated on long journeys.

This pose causes blood to pool in the legs. It also increases the risk of thrombosis.

Also Read: What Are Thrombosed Hemorrhoids and How to Recognize Them?

3. Pregnancy

Inflammation of the hands and feet is very common during pregnancy. It is usually more visible on the lower extremities and the swelling is mild.

This is because the body retains more fluid and produces more blood and other fluids. This is noticeable from the fifth month and especially at night.

Edema during pregnancy is due to the physical and metabolic changes of pregnancy. It should be monitored to exclude hypertensive disorders.

4. Alcohol consumption

Alcohol consumption causes the body to retain more fluid and causes inflammation of the feet. Sometimes in the hands.

Most of the time, this goes away within a few hours. If this happens very frequently, it is a sign of excessive alcohol consumption or an alcohol-related liver, kidney or heart problem.

5. High temperatures as a cause of inflammation of the hands and feet

High temperatures cause blood vessels to dilate and more accumulations of blood in the extremities. The result is inflammation of the hands and feet. When the veins are unable to return blood to the heart, there is significant swelling in the ankles.

6. Injury

Limb injuries cause inflammation in the affected area. Strains, sprains, or fractures cause blood flow to the area where the trauma occurred. The effect is swelling accompanied by pain.

7. Medication

Side effects of some medications include inflammation of the hands and feet. Medications that usually cause this are those containing hormones, steroids, antidepressants, NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs), antidiabetic drugs, and ACE inhibitors (inhibitors of the acid converting enzyme, angiotensin).

8. Edema

We speak of edema when a excess fluid becomes trapped in a specific area of ​​the body. The immediate effect is inflammation of the area.

There is usually an underlying cause that explains it. But there are also cases of idiopathic point edema.

9. Lymphedema

Lymphedema is swelling caused by an obstruction in the lymphatic system. It is believed that the lymph nodes have been damaged or removed for some reason, cutting off the flow of lymph.

10. Infections

Infections are also a possible cause of swollen hands and feet. It can happen that you get a wound, bite or burn and become infected.

11. Poor circulation due to atherosclerosis

Arteriosclerosis leads to poor circulation when the arteries become stiffer and therefore less flexible. In these conditions, the heart has to push harder to move blood around the body.

12. Diabetes and its inflammatory effect on hands and feet

Diabetes often causes swelling, especially in the feet. Although it can also occur in the hands.

It happens when glucose levels spiral out of control, leading to poor blood flow. Often the swelling is accompanied by redness on the fingers.

Also read: Foods for Pneumonia

13. Venous insufficiency

Venous insufficiency occurs when the valves in the veins don’t work properly. As in other cases, they fail to return the blood received to the heart. It is more common in obese people and the elderly.

14. Blood clots

A blood clot forms when blood changes from a liquid to a solid state. It can partially or completely block blood flow and be life-threatening.

The blockage causes swelling, which usually occurs in the legs or feet. But it can form in any area of ​​the circulatory system; including the heart.

15. Kidney failure

Kidney failure is a disease that occurs when the kidneys are not working properly. This leads to Body fluids are not properly excreted in the urine. It produces inflammation of the hands and feet. The face also swells.

16. Liver failure

Liver failure is a decrease in liver function. It causes a decrease in albumin, a protein present in the blood. This helps balance the plasma. When it decreases, it causes inflammation of the hands and feet.

17. Heart failure

When the heart isn’t strong enough to pump blood, a condition known as heart failure develops. Under these conditions Blood can collect in the arms and legs, causing them to swell. There is also a feeling of pressure in the chest, shortness of breath and excessive tiredness.

Heart problems impair blood circulation and can lead to edema in the extremities.

How do you treat inflammation of the hands and feet?

Treatment depends on the causes. If the factor causing this symptom is lack of exercise or accumulation of fluids, it is indicated to raise the arms and legs for half an hour, repeating it once or twice a day.

Regarding the other causes, the following actions should be taken:

  • Because of pregnancy: Don’t spend much time on your feet, wear comfortable shoes and apply a cold compress to the affected area.
  • Because of alcohol consumption: Increase water intake, put your feet up or soak in cold water.
  • Because of high temperatures: Dip your feet in cold water, drink more water, walk around and elevate your feet for a few minutes.
  • Wound : Typically, the rest, ice, compression, and elevation protocol is used.
  • Use of medication: talk to your doctor about substitutes.
  • Edema: Reduce salt intake, put your feet up, and wear compression stockings.
  • Lymphedema: gentle gymnastics, compression, lymphatic drainage, complex decongestive therapy.
  • Infections: Treat mild infections with antiseptics. For more severe infections, consult a doctor.
  • Poor circulation: exercise, reduce salt intake, and follow specific advice from a professional.
  • Diabetes : Take anti-diabetic drugs or insulin prescribed by the doctor according to established guidelines.
  • Venous insufficiency : light physical activity, legs elevated.
  • blood clot : It is an emergency that needs to be treated by a doctor.
  • Kidney, liver or heart failure: the doctor will indicate the appropriate treatment in each case.

It’s not always something serious, but you have to be careful

Swollen hands and feet are not usually a symptom of anything serious, but is also not a negligible condition. Especially if it is very frequent or lasts more than 3 days. If so, it is best to put the situation in the hands of a doctor.

The same recommendation applies if the inflammation of the hands and feet is accompanied by other symptoms such as difficulty breathing, reddening of the skin, cough, fever or tingling. Even if the swelling comes on suddenly.

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