Ganglion Cysts: What Are They and What To Do?
Ms. Kim is a 52 year old woman and she works at a school cafeteria. She visited her chiropractic clinic due to her chronic left elbow pain and discovering a lump on her wrist. She stated that this lump appeared about three months ago without any injury or known cause. She was very worried about this lump on her wrist because of her fear of it becoming cancerous. To her relief this lump was not cancerous at all and it was practically harmless but that does not mean you should ignore it.
These lumps are called ganglion cysts, which are noncancerous lumps that most commonly develop along the tendons or joints of your wrists or hands. They may also occur in the ankles and feet.
Ganglion cysts are typically round or oval and are filled with a jellylike fluid. Small ganglion cysts can be pea-sized, while larger ones can be around an inch (2.5 centimeters) or more in diameter. They are usually painless but can occasionally be painful if they press on a nearby nerve or cause discomfort if they are located on the joints. Symptoms include: pain, tingling, numbness, or muscle weakness.
No one knows exactly what causes a ganglion cyst to develop; however, they develop and appear more often when we use our joints with repetitive motions or activities.
If your ganglion cyst is causing you problems, you can try to break it up by yourself by pressing hard on the cyst. There are videos you can find to demonstrate this process. You can even find a video on YouTube showing a person actually using a Bible to hit hard directly on the ganglion although it is not recommended to use this ‘Bible hitting method’ because it can cause additional traumatic injury.
The best course of action when dealing with ganglion cysts is to see your doctor or health professional. Your doctor may even suggest trying to drain the cyst with a needle, which is the most common way of treatment. Removing the cyst surgically is also an option but it may leave a scar tissue and end with joint weakness.
You may not even need any type of treatment if you are not experiencing symptoms. Also, these cysts usually go away on their own in many cases.
If you don’t know whether it’s a ganglion cyst, or not sure what to do about it, see your doctor.