The ways to cure swollen guitar-playing fingers

Even the best guitar players occasionally deal with swollen fingers. The problem arises because your fingers repeat the same movements. If you play in a band, you may not have the chance to rest your hands between sets. You might not realise your fingers are swollen until hours after playing or even the next day. The best ways for reducing your swollen hands involves all-natural products, available from your local health food store. These products help the swelling go down within a few hours.

Epsom Salt

Epsom salt contains magnesium, which reduces swelling but also relieves pain associated with the swelling. Boil three cups of water and add three teaspoons of Epsom salt. Remove the water from the heat and pour in a small bowl. Let the mixture sit for at least 5 to 10 minutes. Rest your hands in the salt and water mixture for up to 30 minutes or until the water becomes cool. Fill a washcloth with ice and alternate between soaking your fingers and rubbing the ice on your fingers. You can also use ordinary table salt if you do not have Epsom salt.


Work your hands and fingers as often as possible, to build up endurance and reduce swelling. Clench and unclench your fists five times, repeating each interval at least twice and try cracking your knuckles. Sanjiv Naidu, a professor of orthopaedics at Penn State University says that cracking your knuckles won't cause damage to your hands. Keep your hands flat and gently curl and uncurl each finger, one at a time. Take a five-minute break when not playing to keep working your hands and fingers.

Tea Tree Oil

Bring two cups of water to a boil and add a few drops of tea tree oil. Tea tress oil has antibacterial properties that help the body fight infections. Let the water cool for five minutes or until the water is cool enough that you can stand soaking in it. Soak your swollen fingers in the oil and water mixture for 10 to 15 minutes or until you notice that the water is no longer hot. Alternatively, rub the tea tree oil directly on your swollen fingers and let sit for 15 minutes before rinsing off.


Turn the stove on low heat and pour three tablespoons of sesame oil into a pan. Heat the oil until it starts bubbling and add at least five crushed garlic cloves. Stir the mixture continuously until the garlic turns light brown. Then add one-half teaspoon crushed Carmon seeds, one-half teaspoon ginger powder and one-half teaspoon turmeric powder. Remove the mixture from the heat and let cool until you can apply it without burning yourself. Rub the mixture on your fingers. Keep the mixture stored in an airtight container and heat for 10 to 15 seconds in the microwave before using again.

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About the Author

Jennifer Eblin has been a full-time freelance writer since 2006. Her work has appeared on several websites, including Tool Box Tales and Zonder. Eblin received a master's degree in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design.