Dactylitis: Reason why you might have swollen “sausage” fingers

As King Charles resumes his public duties, observants have noted the presence of swollen fingers; often, colloquially referred  as “sausage fingers”. While the exact cause remains undisclosed to the public, Medical Director, GP Chun Tang, from Pall Mall Medical shed some light on this condition. He identified it as “Dactylitis,” a condition marked by significant swelling of the fingers or toes. This condition can be linked to various underlying health issues such as water retention, psoriatic arthritis, sickle cell disease, or reactive arthritis. When this condition is linked to water retention  incorporating Lymphatic Drainage Massage into a comprehensive treatment plan could prove beneficial. Let’s delve deeper into this matter.

“Sausage fingers”: What is Dactylitis?

Dactylitis is the medical term used for severe swelling that affects your digits (fingers or toes). Most people call it “sausage fingers” because of the round, puffed up shape it gives your fingers. The inflammation of joints and tendons of your digits in the main cause of this condition.

What is the difference between inflammation and Dactylitis?

Inflammation only affects a specific area, for example if you injured your finger, just the part you injured, will be swollen. On the other hand, Dactylitis’ most important characteristic is that your entire finger will be swollen because it is caused by the  inflammation of the tendons and joints in the affected digit. 

What are the symptoms of Dactylitis?

Most common symptoms are:

  • Swelling and inflammation of the entire finger or toe, giving it a “sausage-like” appearance
  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Warmth or heat sensation
  • Redness
  • Reduced range of motion-difficulty moving or bending your fingers or toes.

What causes Dactylitis?

Some causes of Dactylitis are:


Arthritis is the most common cause of dactylitis.

  • Psoriatic arthritis.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Gout.
  • Arthritis of the hand.
  • Foot and ankle arthritis.
  • Ankylosing spondylitis is also called spondylarthritis.

2.Autoimmune diseases 

  • Sickle cell disease.
  • Sarcoidosis.
  • Lupus.


Infections are a rare cause, but happen, some of them are:

  • Lyme disease.
  • Syphilis.
  • Tuberculosis.
  • Flexor tenosynovitis.
  • Blistering distal dactylitis.

4.Other water retention causes

  • High salt levels, 
  • Allergic reactions, 
  • Medicinal side effects,
  • Injury 
  • Water retention 

Can Lymphatic Drainage Massage help with Dactylitis?

Yes it can, but first take into account the following tips:

  1. Consult a Healthcare Professional: Before starting any treatment, including lymphatic drainage massage therapy, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional.  She/he can provide you with a proper diagnosis and recommend the most appropriate treatment plan for your specific situation.
  2. Understand the Underlying Cause: Dactylitis is often a symptom of an underlying condition, so addressing the root cause is key for effective and complete management. Treatments for the underlying condition may include medications, lifestyle changes, or other therapies like lymphatic drainage massage.
  3. Lymphatic Drainage Massage: Lymphatic drainage massage is a gentle massage technique designed to stimulate the lymphatic flow around your body.  Lymphatic drainage massage can aid your body in managing inflammation by stimulating the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system plays a crucial role in removing waste, toxins, and excess fluid from the body’s tissues. When inflammation occurs, there is often an accumulation of fluid and waste in the affected area, contributing to discomfort and swelling.

Lymphatic drainage massage: To get best results, keep in mind

  • Find a qualified lymphatic drainage massage therapist, experienced in lymphatic drainage techniques. They can tailor the message to your specific needs and conditions.
  • The massage should be gentle and rhythmic, focusing on stimulating lymphatic circulation and edema reduction. 
  • Ensure that your massage therapist avoids putting pressure directly on inflamed joints to prevent exacerbating the condition.
  • If you need help to alleviate your sausage fingers we are based in London, we have two locations: Mill Hill and  Islington.  
  • Combine with Other Treatments. Lymphatic drainage massage can complement other treatments prescribed by your GP, such as medications, physical therapy, and lifestyle modifications.
  • Monitor Progress. Keep track of your symptoms and how they respond to the treatment plan. If you notice any worsening of symptoms or new concerns, consult your healthcare provider as soon as possible.

Remember that while lymphatic drainage massage can provide relief for swelling and discomfort associated with Dactylitis, it should be part of a holistic approach to managing the condition. Always follow the guidance of your healthcare provider for the best outcomes.

We hope this information is useful. If you need advice or have any questions about our treatments, please contact us. You can find us in Mill Hill and Islington. We are always glad to help. If you like this blog, please share!






Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

xxx hd