Ganglion cysts are round or oval lumps in your body. They usually appear under the skin, along the tendons or joints of your hands. They may also appear on your wrists, ankles, and feet. These cysts are filled with a fluid that has a jelly-like texture resembling the synovial fluid (lubricant) found in certain joints. Let’s take an in-depth look at causes, treatments, and 7 crystal-clear do it yourself solutions.
What Triggers Ganglion Cysts?
The cause of a ganglion cyst is unknown. However, several theories about ganglion cysts of the wrist were examined in a 2008 article published in the Current Review of Musculoskeletal Medicine. The results showed joint stress to be the most likely culprit.
Their size ranges from the size of a pea up to an inch in diameter. A ganglion cyst is usually not painful unless it presses on a nerve. In such cases, you may experience tingling, pain or numbness.
Anyone can develop a ganglion cyst. Nonetheless, they are most common in women between the ages of 15 and 40. People who have osteoarthritis in the top finger joints are more likely to develop ganglion cysts near those joints.
Women athletes or other persons who experienced stress to their wrists repeatedly often develop these cysts. People who are familiar with these lumps often use the ganglion cyst home treatments explained below.
What Are the Medical Options for Ganglion Cysts?
Your doctor may confirm the diagnosis of a ganglion cyst by drawing the fluid out with a syringe. Removing the fluid in this way (aspiration) eliminates the cyst. On the other hand, this medical approach does not always prevent the cyst from returning.
Ganglion cysts may also be removed by surgery. This results in the cysts returning less often. However, sometimes the procedure causes complications. You may want to try the following ganglion cyst home treatments first.
1. OTC Pain Relief
If your cyst causes discomfort, your first objective may be to sooth the pain. The Mayo Clinic recommends using an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve) as a ganglion cyst home treatment.
Try to keep the area immobilized temporarily with a splint or a brace. That’s because activity can aggravate the symptoms of ganglion cysts. Do not use this method for long periods of time, though. Your muscles may become weakened.
3. Warm Compresses
A warm compress can be used as a ganglion cyst home treatment to reduce the pain and swelling of a cyst. It will increase the blood flow to the area and cause the fluid to drain. Simply soak a washcloth in warm water, wring it out, and place it on the affected area for five to ten minutes. Repeat several times a day until the cyst is gone.
4. Tea Bags
Black tea contains anti-inflammatory properties. Their input may reduce the swelling and pain, and the acid in black tea helps heal the cyst. Place a tea bag in very warm water for five minutes. Squeeze out the excess water and hold it over the cyst for ten minutes. Repeat the treatment three or four times a day for several days.
Frankincense, made from the resin of Boswellia trees, has been used since biblical times for its anti-inflammatory qualities. This aromatic resin may be used as a ganglion cyst home treatment by placing oil of frankincense on the cyst twice a day. Afterwards, cover the affected area with a clean bandage. Your cyst should be gone in a matter of days.
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Ginger has been used for centuries as a spice as well as for its medicinal value. It is made from ginger root which can be used fresh, dried or in oil form. A study was published in the Journal of Natural Product Research in October of 2016 regarding the use of ginger to reduce inflammation and pain in osteoarthritis.
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The anti-inflammatory agents in ginger may also be used as a ganglion cyst home treatment to reduce the inflammation accompanying the cyst. You can purchase ginger tea in the supermarket or make it yourself with fresh ginger root. Slice up an inch of the fresh root and simmer in a cup of water for ten minutes. Drink this throughout the day to take advantage of its anti-inflammatory effects.
Turmeric is a plant that grows in Central America and Asia. It is a close relative of ginger. Turmeric is the main spice in curry dishes and has long been recognized as having curative properties.
Ayurveda, an alternative practice of medicine in India, suggests using turmeric for its antioxidant benefits, especially for supporting the health of your joints. Antioxidants in the body are used to eliminate free radicals, which cause damage to proteins, cells, and DNA.
The Arthritis Foundation states that turmeric has been shown to prevent inflammation of the joints, to reduce joint swelling, and to alleviate the joint pain associated with arthritis. Similarly, turmeric may be used as a ganglion cyst home treatment for pain and swelling. The Foundation recommends taking turmeric extract three times a day in a 400 mg to 600 mg capsule.
Always consult a doctor first before taking any supplement. Turmeric can increase the risk of bleeding if you are taking blood-thinning medications or are about to have surgery.
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Ganglion Cyst Treatments to Stay Away from
Many people swear by the “bible thumping cure” as a ganglion cyst home treatment, which involves smacking the cyst with a bible or other heavy flat object. While this may “pop” the cyst, which then drains into your system, it may also cause damage to surrounding areas of your hand or foot. For this reason, it is not recommended.
It is always a good idea to see your doctor to determine the actual cause of the lump you suspect is a ganglion cyst. The doctor can examine the cyst to determine, among other things, that it is not a mass, as opposed to a fluid-filled cyst. It is a good idea to check with your doctor before taking any supplements. Nonetheless, if ganglion cysts appear regularly near your joints and tendons, you may be able to save a little money by treating them yourself.
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