Swelling of hands and fingers can result from numerous causes. Often it is attended with pain. Stiffness, redness and warmth may also be seen along with swelling and pain. Sometimes, there is weakness in the hands and it is difficult to hold objects. It can simply arise from eating excessive salt, exercising, being in the same position for long like while travelling, use of certain medicines like steroids, pain relieving medicines like ibuprofen, naproxen, hormonal therapies with estrogen or testosterone, some medicines used for treating diabetes and high blood pressure. But in other cases, it can arise from some underlying medical condition. Sometimes, the swelling resolves on its own while in other cases, a diagnosis and medical treatment is required.
First among the different medical causes behind swollen hands is arthritis (joint inflammation). Different types of arthritis may be responsible. These include rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout and psoriatic arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune joint inflammation that starts from small joints mainly of hands resulting in pain, stiffness and swelling of joints. Osteoarthritis occurs from damage to joint cartilage from wear and tear. Gout refers to inflammation of joints due to high uric acid levels leading to pain, swelling, redness and heat in the joints. Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that tends to affect people who are already suffering from a skin condition called psoriasis (red inflamed patches on skin covered with silvery white scales). The second reason behind swelling can be injury. Injury might include sprain (overstretching or tear of the ligaments i.e. the tissue bands that joins one bone to another), broken bone i.e. fracture or a bone dislocation.
Another cause can be fluid retention that can happen from various reasons like eating a lot of salty food, pregnancy, blockage in the lymphatic system or thyroid or kidney or liver disease. It can also occur in cases of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) in which there is pinching of the median nerve in the wrist. Next cause can be an infection like skin infection (cellulitis) or an infection within the joint. Felon and paronychia are infections that cause localised swelling on the finger. Felon is an infection in the pad of the fingertip and paronychia is infection around the nail bed where nail and skin meet. Ganglion (fluid-filled lump) is another condition that may cause localised swelling on the finger joint. Skin condition like contact dermatitis (itchy rash, with swelling or blisters) that occurs from a reaction to some irritating agent by touching like some chemical, soap and another condition chilblains (swollen inflamed patches on the hands and feet resulting from exposure to cold air) can result in hand swelling. Tendinitis (inflamed tendons that are tissue bands that connect muscle to bone) can also result in hand swelling. Raynaud’s disease (reduced blood circulation to fingers caused by narrowing of arteries as from cold temperature, stress, injury to hands) can also be one of the causes.
Homeopathy can be of great help in cases of swollen hands and fingers. Homeopathic medicines are natural remedies that help in reducing swelling by working to treat the root cause behind it. Once the root cause is treated, a long term relief occurs. Along with swelling, pain, stiffness in hands and fingers also get managed with these medicines. The most suitable homeopathic medicine for swollen hands and fingers is selected individually for every case after detailed case analysis. It is advised to always get any case of swollen hands and fingers evaluated by a homeopathic physician for the right prescription. Self- medication should be avoided in any case. In cases where some serious cause is related to swelling like a disease in the kidneys or liver, then immediate help from conventional mode of treatment should be taken as homeopathy has limitations in handling cases resulting from serious causes.
Homeopathic Medicines For Swollen Hands And Fingers
1. Apis Mellifica – For Swelling With Redness And Heat
This medicine is well indicated for managing cases of swelling on the hands and fingers when attended with redness and heated sensation. Stinging sensation also accompanies it. Pricking and smarting sensation in the hands can also be present. Sometimes itching on the hands can be felt. There can also occur tearing type of pain in the fingers. The swelling can even extend to the forearm in some cases. In cases needing it, wrist and finger joints are the most swollen. One may feel stiffness in the right hand. In some cases, numbness may be felt in the fingers especially on the tips. This medicine works well when there is swelling from inflamed joints as well as due to skin conditions.
2. Rhus Tox – For Swelling From Inflamed Joints
Rhus Tox is an effective medicine for managing swelling of hands and fingers in cases of joint inflammation. It is attended with pain in the hands and fingers. In some cases, pain begins in the right hand and extends to the other parts. Burning sensation may be felt in the palm of the right hand. Stiffness in the hands and fingers is also well marked. There is pain when moving the fingers due to the swelling. Tearing pain is felt in the finger joints. There is pricking sensation on the finger tips on grasping things. Crawling sensation sometimes occurs on the finger tips. Besides these, Rhus Tox is well indicated for skin infection of hands and fingers. In such cases, there is swelling of the hands and fingers with pus-filled eruptions. It is attended with itching and burning sensation.
3. Colchicum – For Swelling From Gout (Increased Uric Acid Levels)
Colchicum is well indicated to manage swollen hands in cases of gout i.e. high uric acid. Along with this, there is pain in the joints of hands and fingers. Stiffness and tearing type of pain is felt in the hands. Heated sensation on the palms of hands can be present. There is difficulty in holding things. Sometimes there is numbness of the hands with prickling sensation. Distortion of finger joints can be there in some cases. Fingers may be cold. Tingling on the fingertips is sometimes felt along with the above complaints.
4. Caulophyllum – For Swollen, Painful, Stiff Finger Joints
This medicine is highly valuable to manage swollen, painful, stiff finger joints. It is indicated when this results from joint inflammation. The pain is cutting type in most cases along with swelling. It is felt when closing the hands in a fist. Stiffness is felt in finger joints too. Painful nodes can be present on the finger joints in some cases in addition to the above complaints.
5. Agaricus – For Swollen Hands From Chilblains
Agaricus is one of the best choices of homeopathic medicine to manage swollen hands from chilblains. In cases needing it, the hands are red along with the swelling. Burning sensation is felt in the hands. Itching is also well marked. Tearing type of pain in the hands and fingers can attend the above complaints.
6. Silicea – In Case Of Swollen Fingertip From Infection (Felon)
Silicea is indicated for managing felon (bacterial infection in the pad of fingertip) cases efficiently. In cases needing it, there is swelling along with excessive pain in the felons that prevents sleep. The pain may reach the shoulder at times. Pain is mainly throbbing or stinging type. Burning sensation is felt in the felon. Oozing of fluid containing pus is noted from felon.
7. Hepar Sulph – For Swelling Around Fingernail From Infection (Paronychia)
Hepar Sulph is an important medicine for managing cases of swelling around the fingernail from soft tissue infection where the nail and skin meet. In cases needing it, the skin around the affected nail is swollen and inflamed. It is sore along with a heated sensation. Throbbing is felt in it. Pain is present that gets worse at night. There is pus discharge from it which may be blood stained. The discharge smells bad.