Understanding and Managing Ganglion Cysts: Causes, Symptoms, and Solutions

Decoding Ganglion Cysts: Unveiling Causes and Managing Symptoms

Ganglion cysts are swollen lumps that arise from the tissues of a joint, the particular location of which is often a muscle or joint lining. Ganglion cysts are swollen masses of tissue containing fluid. These cysts can be painful, but often are not.
Ganglion cysts can appear suddenly as much of their structure consists of the fluid contained in the cyst. This sudden appearance can be very alarming, despite the frequent lack of pain. Many patients worry that ganglion cysts may be a type of cancer. However, despite their alarming appearance, ganglion cysts are not cancerous. Ganglion cysts physically take up space and may be a problem if they compress a nerve or other structure.
It is not fully known what causes these cysts to occur, but they are sometimes associated with arthritis, repetitive stress injuries, or other joint traumas. As such, they may be a sign of stress or injury of a joint.

person rubs wrist while using computer

Ganglion Cysts Beyond the Wrist: Locations and Triggers

The wrist is a common location for ganglion cysts to appear, but they can appear at other joints such as the ankle as well. These cysts frequently appear on the backside of the wrist, where the extensor digitorum muscle tendons pass.
Wrists can be injured in auto accidents while holding the steering wheel as well. Irritation after an acute injury with repetitive activities such as writing, typing, or working may prompt the formation of a ganglion cyst.
Ganglion cysts can shrink and improve as suddenly as they initially appeared. However, it is important to address repetitive stress injuries and tightness that may have contributed to the initial formation of the cyst.

Young man massaging a womans arms

Managing Ganglion Cysts: Treatment and Therapeutic Exercises

For cases with complications, a ganglion cyst may be drained or surgically removed. This is not typically done for mild cases as ganglion cysts can reappear at a later time. Ganglion cysts may burst as well. As with surgical treatments, burst ganglion cysts may or may not recur.
Stretches can be used to help decrease tightness and strain on the wrists. Stretches for a ganglion cyst at the wrist may include flexing or extending the wrist in order to stretch tight forearm muscles that cross the wrist. This can be done with the arm behind the back to increase tension. Strengthening exercises are also helpful for the wrist. Resistance bands exercises can be used to help strengthen the muscles of the wrist and forearm and decrease pain. Hand grip and extension exercises can be helpful as well. Your Chiropractor will be able to instruct you in stretches and exercises to help your wrist heal and decrease pain. Contact your Chiropractor if you are suffering from a ganglion cyst or have been involved in an auto accident.