Found predominantly in the joints and tendons of the wrists and hands, ganglion cysts are non-cancerous lumps filled with fluids. The causes of ganglion cysts are unknown, but they might be attributed to prior injuries to the areas in which they are found. Ganglion cysts can be painful or not. They are generally painful when the cyst sits on a nerve or irritates a nerve ending.
Characteristics of Ganglion Cysts
The Mayo Clinic describes ganglion cysts as round, firm, fluid-filled raised lumps near your wrist or finger joints. They vary in size depending on activity level; they become larger when you use the affected joint and grow smaller when you're at rest. They're typically painless, although in some cases the cysts may put pressure on the nerves near the joint, which can cause pain.
You can wait to see if the cyst dissipates on its own, or try other conventional treatments such as placing ice on the cyst, aspiration and surgical removal. Another treatment is called bible therapy or hitting the cyst with a heavy book to make the cyst burst. Obvious pitfalls to this treatment include hurting yourself if you hit a nerve by mistake.
Advance Health website cites curcumin, a property of turmeric, as having anti-inflammatory capacities that might be beneficial for treating cysts. Combining turmeric with bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapples, can reduce inflammation, according to Yogawiz.
Herbal Remedies World's website says taking 400 to 600 milligrams of turmeric extract per day could be beneficial as an anti-inflammatory within two months, according to the Herbal Remedies World website.
Herbal Remedies World also cites ginger -- taken in doses of 500 to 1,000 milligrams per day -- one to two times daily as a beneficial anti-inflammatory. the website recommends taking ginger with food.
Used as a topical cream or lotion, arnica has anti-inflammatory properties and is also useful for bruises and sprains.
After consulting with your physician or other health care professional and determining that you have a ganglion cyst, you can either use a topical anti-inflammatory such as ice or arnica or take inflammation-reducing herbs. Consult your health care practitioner again if the cyst becomes larger or begins to cause pain.
The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only. For any health condition or symptoms, please contact your physician or other health care professional. This information is not to be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or symptoms you might be experiencing.
Yvonne Kay began writing in 2010. Her personal wellness practices include healthy eating, yoga, meditation and balancing traditional and conventional medicine. She holds a certification in therapeutic massage from the National Holistic Institute and a Master of Arts in transpersonal counseling psychology from Naropa University.