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Swollen finger joints

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Each finger of the hand has three joints and swollen finger joints causes discomfort. The swelling involves inflammation of the surrounding tissues due to injury to the joint or arthritis. The areas can become stiff and eventually lose movement.

Causes of swollen finger joints

  • The joints of the fingers are coated with a membrane called synovium that allows optimum functioning of the joint. Due to arthritis, the synovium can swell and cause blood to rush to the joint to heal the inflammation. The area becomes warm and tender.
  • Overproduction of the synovial fluid
  • Suffering from rheumatoid arthritis
    Swollen finger joints

    Severe pain upon waking up due to poor circulation of blood during sleep and improves with movement.


  • Stiffness and warmth due to circulation
  • Severe pain upon waking up due to poor circulation of blood during sleep and improves with movement.
  • Difficulty in sleeping caused by discomfort and loss of activity


  • Apply both warm and cold compress on the affected joint to minimize the pain from the swollen finger joints. Cold and warm compresses can be applied alternately for best results. Apply the cold compress on the area least 10-20 minutes and then apply the warm compress for another 10-20 minutes. Perform this procedure at least 3 times every day to help the condition.
  • Olive oil contains compounds that help in preventing inflammation. Olive oil helps lessen the pain in the finger joints. Massage the painful finger using olive oil. Warm a teaspoon of olive oil and gently rub it on the affected joint and it also works as a natural moisturizer.
  • Honey helps lessen the pain in the finger joint due to its antiseptic qualities, and cinnamon is rich in antioxidants which help relieve painful joints. Mix ½ teaspoon of cinnamon and a tablespoon of honey and then drink the mixture before breakfast every morning.
  • Soak the affected finger in a bowl filled with warm water and Epsom salt. Epsom salt helps in minimizing the inflammation and pain. Another alternative is mixing Epsom salt with warm oil. Mix well and use the mixture to massage the swollen finger joints between soaks.
  • Consume foods rich in omega-3 fatty acid to lessen the inflammatory proteins which help in minimizing the swelling. Foods rich in omega-3 include fatty fish such as salmon and tuna. Eat at least 3-4 ounces of these foods 2 times a week.
  • Antioxidant rich foods also help lessen the swelling in the finger joints. Eat at least 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables every day such as broccoli, cauliflower, red peppers, blueberries, raspberries and eggplant.
  • Nuts, seeds and beans contain nutrients that help minimize inflammation. Eat at least a cup of beans in the diet 2 times a week.
  • Minimize the consumption of sodium in the diet to minimize swelling of the fingers due to fluid accumulation. Avoid eating foods rich in sodium content such as smoked or cured meats, frozen meats, canned foods, fast foods and pizza.

If the swollen finger joints could not be relieved with these measures and becomes persistent, it is best to seek medical help immediately.

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