Terrible Pain From Wrist Tendonitis and Ganglion Cyst

by Angela C. Pratt
(Bedford, NH moving to Liberty Lake, WA)


I have been having right wrist pain for several years. Three years ago I had repetitive motion tendonitis from using a tape machine at work. I have always worked in warehousing and office positions.

In November of 2009, my knee gave way so I grabbed for the railing to break my fall. Immediate wrist pain and swelling. I waited a few months, but it did not go away. I was referred to a hand specialist and he did xrays revealing a ganglion over the radial artery than normal. They did a MRI and ultrasound to rule out aneurysm.

Surgery has been suggested, but I am moving and don't want to have a dozen doctors working on me.

I did some kitting at work of DVD's and booklets, and it seemed to aggrevate it all again because the top of my hand hurts TERRIBLY bad and opening a door is painful, typing is painful, and if I happen to bend it back a bit too far...OUCH!!

I have been icing and taking Aleve and Motrin. I use Arnica Montana and have an untrasound machine at home.

Any further suggestions or information would be most appreciated. Also, any referals to doctors in the Spokane Valley/Liberty Lake WA area would be most helpful.



Joshua Answers:

Hi Angela, I hope the move went well.

Unfortunately, I have no good referrals for the Spokane area.

The question I have, is, is the pain more from Wrist Tendonitis or from the ganglion cyst?

If it's from wrist tendonitis, no problem. But from what you've described, my sense is that it's primarily the ganglion causing the pain. Granted, a wrist tendonitis dynamic can help contribute to ganglion cyst formation, so it's worth it to effectively deal with it.

1. How deep is the cyst?

2. How exactly are you icing, and does it help a little, a lot, or not at all?

3. What's your status now? It's been a while since you wrote this.

4. Where exactly do you feel pain? Details details details.

5. Describe the pain. Details, details, details.

6. Overall health?

Please reply using the comment link below. Do not submit a new submission to answer/reply, it's too hard for me to find where it's supposed to go.

And, comments have a 3,000 character limit so you may have to comment twice.

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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Comments for Terrible Pain From Wrist Tendonitis and Ganglion Cyst

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Apr 06, 2011
Tendonitis or ganglion cyst
by: Lana

Well i have the same or almost the same problem...I picked up a 6lb empty bucket and felt pain in my right hand( right in the top middle) went to the doctor he told me i have a tendonitis right wrist and when he started moving my hand i was in pain cause i had a wrist pain right where it bends. so he looked at it and said you have a ganglion cyst, then he told me to take aleve or some other pain reliever. Then the pain in my hand gone away but my wrist still hurt.. i do alot of packing and tearing of the plastic bottle tops and bottoms. (what i do is when the bottles comes out the mold machine i take the extra material off and pack it. so it really aggrevates my wrist. so i went to a different doctor and he told me that its from work that it aggrevates it so he put me on light duty which helps a little. So my question is could they both be part of one another... cause they are saying they are NOT.. and i live here in spokane valley, WA.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Lana.

Do you mean, can the ganglion cyst be related to lifting? Certainly.

Lipomas (benign fatty tumors) and ganglion cysts tend to show up where there are lines of tissue stress/tension.

Can you -see- the cyst? Or is the doctor just guessing that A. it's there or B. whether it's a Lipoma or a ganglion cyst.

If it is a ganglion cyst, go the the local drug store and pick up some iodine (regular iodine, used for disinfecting).

I don't know a lot about it but I hear that iodine, applied to the skin over a cyst, will absorb and dissolve the cyst. Not promising anything, but it's cheap and worth a shot.

It's worth it because if it keeps growing, you'll eventually either have to hit it with a heavy bible (literally smash/pop it) or perform surgery (and then again when it regrows) to remove it.

Wouldn't hurt to Ice Dip to help the overall ecology of your forearm/wrist/hand, because tightness and inflammation are factors at play as well.

Apr 22, 2011
Wrist cyst, hit it with a heavy book, now wrist hurts
by: Magpie

I made the grave mistake of hitting my Cyst last night with a heavy object. It was on the back of my wrist and about the size of a large marble and looked awful! (i deal with the public daily and was very conscious about it)
It was painful last night and this morning there is a large swelling on the underside of my wrist that is really hard and I cant flex my wrist or pick anything heavy up without pain. I know I have not broken anything but does anyone have any idea what I may have done? (The cyst has gone down but is still there)

Silly, silly me!


Joshua Comments:

Well, ya know...you do what you gotta do.

Was it silly? I don't really think so. That was the solution to cysts for a long time. Whack it with a bible. That was the only option.

Now you can have surgery! Which personally, I think is worse than hitting it with a book.

The good news is, you actually burst the cyst. Imagine if you had hit it and hurt your wrist but the cyst was unaffected, or even more painful.

Since you're technically injured yourself (breaking the tissue of the cyst, you're now you're experiencing an acute Process of Inflammation, which means there's:

A. Swelling, which is fluid trapped in the area
B. Increased pain from all the pain enhancing chemical that's being released

and also you have all the fluid from inside the cyst, which is an irritant.

You need to create circulation! Old stuff out, new stuff in!

Massage that fluid up the arm, like squeezing toothpaste out of a tube. Hold your arm up over your head so gravity can drain your arm. Ice Dip as described on the How To Reduce Inflammation page.

Oct 30, 2012
Cyst on wrist causing numbness and tingling
by: Anonymous

Hey how are you doing Joshua im having the same problem with this cyst on my right wrist and its causing numbness and tingling and i was wondering if i should keep trying the ice dipping because i notice it works for a while i only tried one time because i just find out about it or if its any new ways you could help me out with thanks


Joshua Comments:

I'm doing great, thanks!

Ice Dipping is great for removing pain and increasing circulation.

If the cyst itself is causing the numbness and tingling (it may or may not be, I'd need to know more) then there's nothing I can do to help, as if the cyst is pushing directly on a nerve, surgery is the only option (and hopefully the surgeon won't cut the nerve while attempting to remove the cyst).

If the numbness/tingling is coming from other sources, that's something else entirely, but we'd need to know first.

Feb 08, 2016
Unshure if its a cyst
by: Molly

So I do a lot of repetitive factory work and for about 2 years have had problems with my wrists swelling from lifting boxes that were too heavy.

But now I'm in pain 24/7! I'm starting to notice a bump on the back of my wrist as well as swelling. It hurts all through my forearm and feels like something has been pinched in my elbow.

Oh also my hand has been falling asleep when I'm sleeping. I'm an graphic designer Im on a computer all the time I need my hands!

Ive been using a wrist brace for sleep and computer.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Molly.

Do you have a ganglion cyst in there?

As far as the progressive pain, I don't want to sound dismissive when I say "yes, that's very predictibly how the dynamic works".

So what are you doing to reverse the problem? Or said another way, where are you at in the process of attempting to reverse the problem?

Aug 11, 2017
by: Anonymous

Please do not attempt to treat a ganglion cyst by bursting it with a bible (or other holy book). Your hand is made up of lots of delicate bones, tendons, ligaments and nerves. You could cause serious damage. Advocating this 'treatment' is highly irresponsible.


I agree, hitting it with a heavy object (be it a bible, other book, or anything else) is not the best of ideas, that's why I've never advocated for it here on this site or elsewhere.

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