Why Swollen Fingers? What About My Rings?

There are many causes for swollen fingers on precious senior hands. Here some of the causes for swelling and how advances in senior healthcare have brought to world…a ring-removal device.

In cases of dactylitis or other inflammation of the fingers or toes – there is a fear of losing rings to the bolt cutter, which would add insult to injury.


Why Swollen Fingers in Seniors?

General swelling is called ‘edema’. Swelling can occur anywhere in the body. When swelling happens in the fingers it is know as dactylitis, from the Greek word “daktylos” which means finger.

However, while edema can be in more than one place at a time, or on both sides of the body, dactylitis can affect only one digit.

10 senior healthcare conditions that cause swelling in the fingers:

  • Heat, hot weather:
    • Look out for other signs of heat exposure
  • Exercise:
    • Remove jewelry before exercising, stretch and clench fingers during exercise
  • High-salt diet leading to kidney issues:
    • Revert to a balanced diet
  • Lymph-edema (primary or secondary):
  • Following removal of lymph nodes
  • Psoriatic arthritis:
    • Pain management is recommended
  • Angio-edema:
    • Caused by an allergic reaction
  • Poor sleep posture:
    • Sleep in different positions throughout the night
  • Fluid retention:
    • Talk to a doctor if it seems to be getting worse
  • Infection:
    • If it looks infected show it to a doctor
  • Hyponatremia:
    • Seen in runners who over-drank water, or in seniors with a poor diet

And then there’s the painful but not uncommon jamming of the fingers in the door. Take care when entering a car…and avoid.

I hope you were not the victim of any of these conditions. But if you were, and were not able to take off your rings and put them in a safe place, before the swelling got too bad, here are ways to save your jewelry.


Ring Removal – Mom’s Tips and the Old Bolt Cutter

There are several different methods to get rings off swollen fingers.

The writer is not personally familiar with all of these ideas. Take care before you try anything that seems even mildly risky. In senior healthcare there are many opinions as to what is the best way to do things. Ask medical staff if you think it could possibly contradict your medical condition.

  1. Put hand soap on the place where the ring is stuck, add a little water and work off that ring like magic.
  2. Use Windex which is a lubricant and also causes the skin to contract, baby oil, a lotion or any other lubricant to get the ring to slide off your finger.
  3. Hold the hand above your head for 5 to 10 minutes, apply something quite cold at the same time – either something like frozen peas or a gel pack.
  4. If you can’t manage to get your hand above your head, elevate your hand above chest level. Apply a frozen gel pack or ice for a quarter of an hour every hour until the swelling goes down, or submerge the hand in cold water.
  5. The dreaded ring-cutter or a jeweler’s saw – this can be found in a jewelry store, emergency room and at the fire department. If you go to the jeweler the ring can be repaired and resized.
  6. The American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH) depicts a method using dental floss wound around the finger to compress the swelling long enough to get the ring off.
  7. Push the skin around the ring backwards towards the knuckles to give a bit more room around the ring and allow it to come off.



There is a new, ring-saving device called RingRescue TM .

It can help you get that ring off your hand by applying pressure with something that looks like a mini blood pressure cuff. Doctors can get rings off in a gentler and much less threatening way using this device.

The finger is placed inside the cuff which is then inflated. After a little time the swelling in the finger naturally has to go down. The cuff is then deflated and the ring can be slipped off.

The device does not cure the cause of the swelling neither does it make it worse.

Because it is so simple, it seems that the method will become popular in the emergency room and a tool in all upscale jewelers stores.

It seems that it could also be combined with other traditional methods, such as applying cold.

Here is a tool that keeps everyone happy. You will be happy to have your rings safe and sound, the hand is free to get cured in whichever way is appropriate and medical staff will be relieved too.


Senior Healthcare and Being Technologically Aware

It is so good there there is a simple answer to the common issue of rings stuck on swollen fingers!

Since rings often have great symbolic value as well as inherent value, we all value our jewelry.

This is another example of how being technologically aware can save emotional pain and stress for beloved seniors.

Loving family members, friends and those involved in senior healthcare, such as medical staff and nursing staff, should always face issues that crop up by asking if there is a new innovation with an out-of-the-box solution.


senior healthcare taking rings off swollen fingers

Jewelry has many memories attached to it. It often has a great inherent value as well. Keep your rings at a safe size!


Photo by Cornelia Ng on Unsplash