My wife's hands swell when she hikes. Is she in danger?
Submitted by - S.H., Manchester, MO
Chances are good she won't explode. She's likely experiencing peripheral edema, a swelling caused by lymph fluid pooling in the hands, feet, or face. It's common among backpackers, often the result of too-tight shoulder straps or standing for long durations. The symptoms typically disappear within hours after a hike. Adjust her pack to place more weight on the hipbelt, and try trekking poles for better hand circulation.