A Ganglion Cyst (Also called Bible Cyst) is a fluid filled sac that can and does grow in a variety of places on the surface of the body, most always in the wrist area.
Sometimes painful, sometimes not, they are benign growths that are generally annoying but are not dangerous.
If you have a cyst of the ganglion variety, you have a few options....
You can leave it alone,
you can have surgery,
you can hit it with a book,
you can try alternative methods, etc.
Keep reading to find out more about 'Bible Cysts' and your options.
What is a Ganglion Cyst?
A cyst is entirely separate from Tendonitis. One can have a Bible Cyst with Wrist Tendonitis, but they're only distantly connected.
See: What Is Tendonitis?
Like all cysts, a Ganglion Cyst is a pocket of fluid filling a connective tissue bubble.
This 'bubble' is a thin sphere of connective tissue that grows as the amount of fluid continues.
In a Lipoma situation, the fluid can harden over time, going from a soft gel to a hard(er) mass. But the interior of cysts like Ganglions generally stay fluid. The thing to be concerned about is that over time, the connective tissue bubble can become tougher and tougher (which makes hitting them with a heavy book potentially painful if not dangerous).
Ganglion growths are rarely dangerous. If it happens to cause problems with a nerve then that can certainly be an issue.
The biggest problem with a ganglion is pain. Partly from the swelling, partly from the growth (fluid and connective tissue growing under the surface of the skin).
*** Connective tissue connects to connective tissue. So that connective tissue bubble connects to other sheets of connective tissue. These lines can run deep into joints etc, and that can be a significant cause of pain.
If a nerve is involved (rare), that's problematic. More on that down the page when we talk about treatment options.
There a few ways of dealing with a Ganglion.
1. Ignore it and hope for the best (not a horrible option)
2. Hit it with a Bible (if you can even find a big bible these days)
3. Surgery or other medical intervention
4. Alternative methods
1. Ignore It
If the cyst is slow growing, or if you've had it for a while, and if it's not painful, then you don't NEED to do anything about it.
Lots of people life with ganglion cysts. It's annoying, maybe a little embarrassing, but not dangerous.
COST: It's free to ignore it.
Maybe you'll have to deal with it later, maybe not. It depends on how fast it grows, whether it comes and goes, whether it's painful/problematic, etc.
2. Hit It With A Heavy Bible
Historically (in the western world, at least), Ganglion Cyst wrist problems have commonly been called a Bible Cyst. It was named so because the normal treatment (before the rise of surgery as an everyday occurrence) was to hit the bump with a heavy bible.
The person with the bible cyst puts their hand/wrist on a supported surface, and somebody else whacks the cyst with the bible.
The sudden impact bursts the fluid filled bubble and the bump is instantly gone.
Things To Watch Out For:
Do NOT let someone break or otherwise injury your wrist by hitting it too hard. Make sure you're positioned is a supported way. Make sure the person hits you hard enough but not too hard.
Don't break anything but the cyst!
The sudden impact and bursting fluid filled pocket may be painful. But the bump is GONE.
Google it and you'll see video's of people trying this technique. This will give you an idea of the pain levels and the tension of impending doom as the person gets ready to swing the book. Kind of entertaining, really.
You want your ganglion cyst wrist problem gone, not made worse by someone breaking your wrist!
More Things To Be Aware Of:
A. The sudden burst of fluid into the area and sudden rupture of the connective tissue bubble can be painful, but this will go away. Ice dipping as described in How To Reduce Inflammation will quickly help.
B. The sudden rupture of the connective tissue and fluid release can and has been known to cause some nerve injury. This is on the rare side of things, but is worth taking into consideration.
C. If the Bible Cyst is old, the connective tissue bubble can have thickened and/or hardened, and forcefully rupturing it may cause a lot of pain as technically you're injuring yourself.
3. Surgery Or Other Medical Intervention
A. A doctor/surgeon can surgically remove the Bible Cyst. This causes a certain amount of damage and may cause more harm than it's worth. And the cyst tends to redevelop over time.
Ganglion Cyst Removal is the ONLY treatment option that actually removes a cyst.
B. A doctor can use a needle and syringe to drain the cyst. All and all a pretty mild procedure, but the cyst will definitely refill with fluid. There's no way to predict how fast it refills.
COST: Depends on the doctor/hospital/clinic and one's insurance situation etc.
Things To Look Out For:
Damage from surgery, cyst redeveloping and/or refilling up with fluid.
1. Alternative methods
There are a variety of alternative methods for dealing with a Ganglion Cyst, herbal and otherwise.
You'll have to do more research there. At this point the only one I would really recommend trying is Iodine.
The right kind of Iodine is surprisingly effective at getting rid of certain cysts. As in, makes them go away. It's certainly worth a shot before finding a friend with a bible that doesn't mind giving you a whack with it.
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