Ganglion cysts of the wrist, which are also often referred to as Bible cysts are swellings appearing on or around the tendons or joints of the wrist. Ganglion cysts can vary in their size and mostly affect the region surrounding the dorsum of the wrist. Why is a ganglion cyst also called a Bible cyst? This name is derived from an ancient ganglion cyst wrist treatment procedure that involved hitting the cysts using a large book, like the Bible. However, this procedure is not practiced now as rupturing the cyst is seldom curative and has more chances of worsening the condition.
The signs and symptoms of ganglion cysts of the wrist are as follows:
- Tenderness or a dull ache in the affected joint is often observed in ganglion cyst patients.
- There’s formation of firm and fluid-filled lumps; these lumps can increase or decrease in size over time and can appear as a cluster formed of several smaller lumps or as a single large lump.
- Muscle weakness, swelling or numbness of the ailing joint is also common.
- Moving the affected joints usually causes pain; however, there are also many instances where the ganglion cyst wrist patients do not experience any pain.
Conventional Treatment for Ganglion Cysts
- Observation: At times, doctors advise patients to wait and watch how their ganglion cysts behave before suggesting an invasive measure or prescribing medications. People waiting for their ganglion cysts to subside should never try breaking them on their own. Poking or pressing these cysts aggravates the condition, which will not allow the cysts to go away quickly.
- Splint: Putting a splint on the ailing joint can help in limiting its movement. It has been mentioned earlier that movement acts as a trigger for pain associated with ganglion cysts. So, restricting the movement of the affected wrist joint will ensure that the patient does not experience any pain caused by motion. Positioning of splints also helps in reducing the size of the cysts. At times, doctors recommend use of splint after draining the cysts or ganglion cyst removal.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs: This treatment is used for reducing the fever, swelling or pain associated with appearance of ganglion cyst. NSAIDs can be purchased over-the-counter; however, you must consult you physician before taking them as they can cause serious side effects like kidney problems and stomach bleeding if not used in the right method.
- Needle aspiration: This procedure helps in draining the fluid content of the cysts. The process involves insertion of a needle into the ganglion cyst to make a tiny incision; the fluid comes out through this incision reducing the size of the cyst. Next, a steroid medicine gets injected into the aspirated ganglion cyst for reducing inflammation. Often, a local anesthetic is also injected along with the steroid for decreasing pain. The drained fluid is then sent to the laboratory for being tested.
- Surgery: Surgery is mostly recommended if the ganglion cyst is restricting the patient’s joint movements or causing severe pain. Ganglion cyst wrist surgery is also done when all the other treatment options fail to show positive results. Surgery for removing a ganglion cyst can be done at a doctor’s clinic or at a hospital. The surgical procedure may involve removal of the entire cyst along with a layer of its surrounding tissue. The patient might require wearing a splint following the surgery for limiting his or her joint movements.
Alternative Treatment for Ganglion Cysts
1. Homeopathy: Homeopathic remedies work by relieving the symptoms and healing the body naturally. Homeopathic medications are known to be extremely beneficial for reducing the pain caused by ganglion cysts. For enjoying the best effects of this treatment, ganglion cyst patients should consult an experienced homeopathic practitioner and know the suitable doses of the medications. Here are some of the homeopathic remedies commonly prescribed to people with ganglion cysts:
- Carbo veg: This medication is used for ganglion cyst wrist treatment if the patient experiences a pulling sensation or pain in their affected wrist. Carbo veg also offers relief from cramps in the hand muscles.
- Causticum: Patients bothered by pain in the ailing wrist during the nighttime can be effectively treated with causticum. The other indicators of use of this homeopathic remedy are: a shooting pain in the elbow and finger of the patient, a tearing sensation around the wrist, spasmodic weakness and trembling of hands.
- Phos: Ganglion cyst of the wrist can cause a burning pain in the affected regions, which eventually leads to numbness of the area. A ganglion cyst patient with these symptoms is usually treated with phos. Phos can also be an effective remedy for these cysts if the patient is having trembling hands or severe tension and pain in the fingers and joints.
- Silicea: This is the most frequently prescribed homeopathic medication for the treatment of ganglion cysts. Silicea is used for treating symptoms like numbness of the affected body part, burning sensation and a sticking or tearing pain in and around the cysts. The pain that worsens during the night is another indicator for use of Silicea. Ganglion cysts on the wrist can impair one’s ability of writing by causing severe pain in the wrist; this situation can be managed successfully by Silicea.
2. Herbal remedies: Certain herbs like ginger and turmeric are known to have excellent healing effects on ganglion cysts. Curcumin, which is an anti-inflammatory substance present in turmeric roots, is believed to be responsible for the herb’s ability of treating ganglion cysts. According to expert herbalists, one should take 400-600 mg of turmeric extracts every day in order to get relief from the pain and inflammation caused by ganglion cysts. On the other hand, for treatment with ginger, one will need to consume 500-1000 mg of the herb every day. Adding fresh chopped ginger to food items like soups and salads can be beneficial for patients with ganglion cysts. They can also have two cups of ginger tea prepared by brewing ginger in boiling hot water every day for enjoying the healing effects of the herb.