Why Do Hands Swell When Hiking?

Why Do Hands Swell When Hiking

Hands swell when hiking because of the increased elevation and heavy breathing that causes a spike in blood pressure. This is a temporary problem that will correct itself once you’ve reached a lower elevation, so be sure to plan for it by packing light, carrying water with you, and wearing comfortable shoes. In this post, I will answer your question of why do hands swell when hiking so read on..

I usually have to carry my trekking poles in both hands when hiking. The hike itself was beautiful- the views were spectacular, the elevation was great for someone who has never been more than 100 meters above sea level before, and the animals all seemed very friendly. But when I reached a certain point, my hands started swelling with each step I took – eventually it got so bad that I couldn’t grip the poles anymore.

It was very disorienting at first, I couldn’t figure out why my fingers kept swelling and it felt like my hands were going to explode. But as soon as we reached a lower elevation, the swelling went away and I was able to use both of my hands again normally.

I remember reading an article about this once- it said that the higher elevation and increased blood pressure makes your hands swell, but this is simply a temporary problem that will correct itself once you’ve reached a lower elevation. So if it happens to you, try not to worry – just know that it’ll be over soon!

Why do hands swell when hiking?

As you hike, your heart has to work harder in order to push blood up the body. This can cause high blood pressure which leads to swelling of hands and other parts of the body. Fortunately, this is a temporary condition that will resolve itself once you descend from the higher elevation that caused it.

Elevated blood pressure causes hand swelling because a lack of oxygenated blood to the capillaries causes them to expand, making hands swell.

Mountain climbers have a term used to describe this hand swelling known as ‘Pins and Needles’ which is also used when describing tingling in the arms or legs. This happens because there’s not enough blood for your nerves to feel what’s going on around them, which can cause tingling. This tingling is often what drives people down the mountain because it makes you feel uncomfortable.

Hand swelling that persists or reappears once descending from elevation may be a sign of more serious medical condition, so consult your doctor to rule out anything else. If this is not the case then it’s nothing more than a temporary condition brought on by the lack of oxygen in high altitudes.

As always, be sure to use caution and check with a physician before your hike. If you notice swelling hands while hiking , it might also mean that you’re dehydrated. Dehydration can cause hand swelling during hiking because it will reduce the volume of blood in your system and increase your blood pressure.

Keeping a water bottle with you to stay hydrated during your hike is always a good idea, as well as wearing light and comfortable shoes. Hiking boots can be heavy and constricting, so opting for lightweight hikers might also help you avoid any hand swelling while hiking.

Using these precautions will help you avoid the temporary swelling that comes with increased elevation, so be sure to bring them on your next hike. You’ll get great exercise and fresh air while avoiding any discomfort along the way!

As soon as you can get out of the higher elevation and into lower altitudes again, the swelling should go away. The body will readjust for this when you return to normal elevations.

How to prevent hand swelling during hiking

To prevent this problem altogether, make sure to stay hydrated during hikes by drinking plenty of water before and after your trip. Wear comfortable shoes with good arch support for long walks on uneven ground or trails with steep inclines, and pack light so you don’t have to carry too much weight on your back!

Hiking hand swelling remedies  

When you’re hiking, you’ll experience an increase in your blood pressure. This is because the amount of oxygen necessary for hiking is much higher than what your body would normally need when sleeping or sitting still.

The increased elevation and heavy breathing can cause a spike in your blood pressure, which makes your hands swell. This is a temporary problem that will correct itself once you’ve reached a lower elevation.

Make sure to plan for this by packing light, carrying a water bottle with you, and wearing comfortable shoes!

To remedy this problem, keep your circulation going during hikes. Wear zip-up or Velcro gloves on especially steep trails, and stretch your fingers regularly with the hand you’re not using to hold onto the hiking trail.

For long hikes, consider taking breaks every hour or so in which you stop for 10 minutes or so to relax and drink some water.

Why Do Hands Swell When Hiking

The effects of hand swelling on your body

The increased elevation and heavy breathing which you experience while hiking can cause a spike in your blood pressure. Blood vessels may constrict to help with this, which could make the veins in your hands appear more pronounced.

This is most likely temporary and will go away after enough time at a lower elevation. Plan ahead by wearing light-weight clothes, carrying a water bottle, and wearing comfortable shoes!

Don’t worry about insignificantly swollen hands while working to reach your goals.

Not being able to grab onto handrails or railings, difficulty opening jars, and not being able to use tools you need for work are all inconveniences that can become serious problems if they continue for an extended period of time. If you have persistent swelling in your hands, you should see your doctor.

Numbness in your hands or arms is a more serious symptom that can be the result of hand swelling. If this happens to you while hiking or at any other time, stop what you’re doing and call for emergency help. This is because it can signal poor blood flow which can result in serious health consequences.

Hiking-friendly foods you can eat while on a hike

You can eat most foods while hiking, but some types are easier than others. Bring easy-to-eat foods like cheeses, fresh fruit or fruit cups, energy bars, nuts/nut butter (peanuts, cashews, almonds), granola bars, dried fruit (raisins), jerky, and sandwiches. If your food tastes good at altitude it will taste even better as you descend!

Food or objects you should not bring while hiking or camping

Avoid bringing foods that are difficult to eat, like pop corn, raisins in bulk form (unless they’re pre-packaged), sticky candy, and hard candy. Plan ahead by packing everything in Ziploc bags. Make sure your food is easy to open so you can access it when you need it.

Your body will be under constant strain during a hike, so avoid carrying too many heavy objects with you. Carrying unnecessary items could prevent you from reaching your destination safely. Over-packing will also increase fatigue and slow your downward journey.

Make sure to plan ahead by packing light! Hiking is an exciting activity, but it is important to pack appropriately so you can enjoy your time out in nature.

Tips and tricks for keeping your hands from getting too swollen when hiking

One of the things you do not want to experience when hiking is hand swelling, which can be caused by increased elevation, heavy breathing, and changes in blood pressure. There are many ways to avoid this problem; you should pack light for your hike, drink plenty of fluids (bring extra water), and wear comfortable shoes.

If your hands are feeling swollen after these precautions, eat easy-to-eat foods like cheese, nuts/nut butter (peanuts, cashews, almonds), dried fruit (raisins), or energy bars. You can also wear lightweight gloves or tuck your hands into your sleeves if they are feeling puffy. The important thing is to keep them out of the sun and away from excess heat, since this will worsen swelling.

These simple steps will prevent hand swelling when hiking and ensure that you have a safe experience.

Your body needs continuous oxygen to function, most of which is provided by your lungs. When you hike, the air gets thinner the higher you climb, requiring your body to work harder than usual to adapt and maintain its natural level of oxygen. You will also be breathing more deeply than normal due to the extra effort required for climbing/hiking.

Your heart rate increases when you climb because it is pumping extra blood to your limbs. The increased elevation and heavy breathing can cause a spike in your blood pressure, which makes your hands swell. This is a temporary problem that will correct itself once you’ve reached a lower elevation. Make sure to plan for this by packing light, carrying a water bottle with you, and wearing comfortable shoes!

Conclusion

Hiking is a great way to get outside and enjoy nature while getting some exercise! If you’re planning on hiking, make sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water before and after your hike. Wear comfortable shoes with good arch support for long walks on uneven ground or trails with steep inclines, carry a water bottle with you at all times, and pack light! If you follow these steps, you’re guaranteed a safe and enjoyable hike.

References :

John Oakley

Hi, I am John Oakley- The Guy behind this site. I am an avid hiker and long distance walker. I love to experiment with new gear for hiking and walking and this site is a result of my passion for reviewing and checking the best walking shoes and hiking gear.

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