Q. Why do my fingers become stiff and swell when I wake up?

Answered by
Dr. Rinku Rani Biswas
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Apr 15, 2023 and last reviewed on: May 23, 2023

Hello doctor,

For the last few months, I have been having stiffness and swelling in my right-hand fingers. It is more in the morning while waking up. And also the middle three fingers get locked when I bend into a fist and it opens with a jerk. Please help.



Welcome to

I read your query and can understand your concern. As per your symptoms and age, the condition appears to be due to arthritis. This could be due to osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or gout.

The clinical picture in your case suggests rheumatoid arthritis. However, I would suggest you do some investigations to confirm the same.

1. Is there an associated severe pain or fever along with swelling and stiffness?

2. Are multiple joints involved? If yes, please specify.

3. Do you have a history of diabetes or thyroid disorder?

Please get the below tests done and revert with the reports:

ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate), CRP (C-reactive protein), rheumatoid factor, anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) antibodies, and Vitamin D.

Therapy for symptomatic relief:

1. Take the tablet Etoricoxib 60 mg twice a day after meals for 5 days (or during a flare). However, please consult a physician, discuss with them, and start taking the medications with their consent.

2. Apply cold compressions for 10 to 15 minutes when there is pain and swelling and hot compressions in the later part of the day for the stiff joints.

3. Do regular movement and strengthening exercises to keep the joint healthy.

Hope this helps you.

Please revert back with the test reports.

Thanks and take care.

Probable diagnosis:


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