Hey, you can stop worrying if you’ve been experiencing swollen hands and fingers after running even if you have diabetes.

That’s because diabetes does not cause your hands or fingers to swell up as a result of running.

Nevertheless, many people do find that after completing their running session, and sometimes during the session, their hands—and especially fingers—have swelled up.

This may also occur after hiking or even also a moderate intensity of walking.

Cause of Swollen Hands and Fingers After Running or Walking

“This can happen anytime when you do a sustained activity, even just walking,” says Sheri Colberg, PhD, Professor Emerita, Exercise Science, Old Dominion University, founder of Diabetes Motion, and one of the world’s leading experts on diabetes and exercise.

“It just indicates that not all the blood circulating during exercise is being immediately returned to your body core. It’s not a sign of anything bad or unusual.”

Isn’t that good news?

A new-onset, unexplained symptom in a person with diabetes tends to make them immediately wonder if the symptom is somehow tied to their type 2 or type 1 condition.

Many non-diabetics experience the swollen finger phenomenon. The plumpness in your fingers, even though they feel stiff when this happens, is simply the result of extra blood circulation. So feel free to run like the wind!


Wearing light gloves may provide relief. If that doesn’t work or it’s too hot to wear gloves, then you may want to keep your hands in a loose fist while exercising.

This will help minimize the stiffness that sometimes accompanies the swelling.

You may also experience this symptoms only when you’re running, hiking or walking outdoors.

This symptom is no need to banish your outdoor exercise for indoors.

Again, the swelling in your hands and fingers does not mean any disease process and is no reason to alter your running or other aerobics habits.

The mission of Diabetes Motion is to provide practical guidance about blood glucose management to active diabetics. Dr. Sheri Colberg is the author of “Diabetes & Keeping Fit for Dummies.” 
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.