Waking up with swollen hands can occur due to arthritis or your sleeping position. But some underlying health conditions, including kidney issues, can also cause it.
If you wake up with swollen hands, there are a number of possible explanations. We’ll go over seven potential reasons for this condition and explore treatment options for each.
If you have arthritis, the inflammation of your joints can lead to swollen hands in the morning. Different types of arthritis can result in swollen hands and swollen fingers in the morning. These include:
- Osteoarthritis. Also called degenerative joint disease, this condition affects the cartilage between your joints.
- Rheumatoid arthritis. This autoimmune disorder affects your joints and other part of your body.
- Cervical spondylosis. This common, age-related condition affects the joints in your cervical spine (neck area); it can lead to finger pain and swelling.
Treatment: Arthritis treatment focuses on the relief of symptoms and enhancement of joint function. In some cases, doctors recommend surgery such as joint repair or joint replacement. For some people, physical therapy (PT) can help improve range of motion and strength. Also, depending on the type of arthritis, doctors often recommend medications such as:
- analgesics, including acetaminophen (Tylenol) and tramadol (Ultram)
- narcotics, including oxycodone (Percocet) or hydrocodone (Vicoprofen)
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as prescription strength or over-the-counter (OTC) ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen sodium (Aleve)
When you’re pregnant, your body releases about 50 percent more fluids and blood. Some of that excess fluid and blood can fill tissue in your hands, ankles, and feet.
Treatment: Typically, swollen hands in the morning due to pregnancy is nothing to worry about. You should, however, talk to your doctor about it because there’s a chance that it could be an indication of high protein levels and high blood pressure. In many cases, all that is necessary is to lower the amount of sodium in your diet and increase the amount of water you drink.
Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease affecting connective tissue. It’s not contagious or cancerous. A typical early symptom of scleroderma is swollen hands and swollen fingers in the morning. This swelling is associated with muscle inactivity at night.
Treatment: Since a mild case can become more serious if not treated, proper medical attention is necessary. In most cases, your doctor will recommend anti-inflammatory medications. Your doctor might also suggest occupational therapy.
4. Kidney issues
Swelling in your extremities can be the result of water retention. The kidneys remove excess fluid and toxins to cleanse the body. Swelling in your hands could be a sign that your kidneys aren’t functioning properly.
Treatment: If swelling is accompanied by symptoms such as unusual fatigue, shortness of breath (after minimal effort), and having trouble thinking clearly, see your doctor for a full diagnosis.
5. Carpal tunnel syndrome
If overuse of your wrist has resulted in a diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome, your doctor has probably recommended a splint to limit your wrists’ mobility. If you don’t wear your splint while you sleep, your wrists can bend in a variety of ways that could lead to swollen hands in the morning.
Treatment: Wear a splint at night.
A high sodium diet can result in swollen hands in the morning.
Treatment: Lower the amount of sodium you consume.
7. Poor sleep position
For some people, swollen hands in the morning are a sign of sleep posture. If you sleep on your hands and put the majority of your weight on your side, you could wake up with swollen hands.
Treatment: Change your sleeping position throughout the night.
There are a number of causes of swollen hands in the morning. Some are easy to fix while some require medical attention. If swollen hands are a regular occurrence or are accompanied by other symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor.
If you don’t already have a provider, our Healthline FindCare tool can help you connect to physicians in your area.