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Ganglion Cysts: Overview With Regard to the Causes and Treatments of This Type of Cyst

Perhaps one has been involved in a conversation at a point in time where someone had mentioned having a ganglion cyst and was unsure of what these cysts really were. These types of cysts are common and usually are not a cause for serious concern. To learn a bit more about these growths the following information will describe what ganglion cysts are, what causes these types of cysts, who experiences these cyst formations and also various treatment options which are offered as well.

What Ganglion Cysts Are

Ganglion cysts are a medical condition which can occur in both male and female individuals. Ganglion cysts are also known by other names such as synovial hernia or synovial cyst. These cysts are sacs filled with a jelly-like fluid and tend to form in the upper extremity area, mostly on the hands and wrists. Although these cysts form generally in these areas it is important to note that ganglion cysts can form on other areas of the body as well, including various portions of the leg and shoulders. They are usually of a hard consistency, such as a hard bump on the hand or other part of the body. Also, these types of cysts can be a variety of sizes ranging anywhere from a small size to something the size of a quarter.

Cause of Ganglion Cysts

The formation of a ganglion cyst often grows out of a joint capsule or tendon sheath. It is not known for certain what outside forces cause ganglion cysts; however, professionals of the medical community believe that certain factors such as injury, overuse and/or inflammation and irritation of the tendon sheath or joint capsule may do so. Individuals who are involved in sports which utilize the hands a great deal such as tennis, racquetball and bowling may find that they develop these types of cysts. For athletes who play sports such as skiing, running or contact sports may find that ganglion cysts form on the lower extremity region, especially the feet. It is important to point out that these types of cysts are non-cancerous, which leads those diagnosed with cysts of this kind to breathe a sigh of relief.

People Who Tend to Experience Ganglion Cyst Formation

Mostly adults experience ganglion cysts which include those of all ages; however, ganglion cyst formation usually occurs most frequently in those individuals in their teens to their 50’s. As stated previously, both men and women get ganglion cysts although women are more likely to get cysts of this kind than men.

Symptoms Associated With Ganglion Cysts

There are very little symptoms associated with the formation and existence of ganglion cysts. Typically, a ganglion cyst is noted when an individual has a bump formation on a portion of their body, usually the hand or wrist, and may be accompanied by a tingling sensation in the upper extremity area. Slight feelings of pain and swelling may also be associated with the ganglion cyst condition. Other problems such as limited range of motion may be in existence as well. Overall, the symptoms are small and almost pain-free.

Ganglion Cyst Diagnosis

The diagnosis of a ganglion cyst often arises from a patient being concerned about the foreign mass formation on their body. Once the doctor has been consulted, that medical professional can proceed with a few different tests in order to make a firm diagnosis. If upon visual examination the doctor feels that a ganglion cyst is what the formation is, he/she will usually leave it at that. However, should the medical professional feel that the bump may be linked to a more serious condition, such as osteoarthritis, an x-ray may be in order. Another way to determine if anything more than a ganglion cyst is present is to extract fluid from within the cyst itself and test that matter. MRI testing and ultrasounds are the final type of test which might be utilized in rare instances; however, this is usually the exception as opposed to the rule.

Treatment of Ganglion Cysts

One of the good things about ganglion cysts is that these types of formations often need no treatment. They are of such a nature that they go away on their own fruition. Certain pain relieving medications including pain relievers such as Acetaminophen can be taken at home for pain relief. However, should the individual who has a cyst of this type wish to pursue other alternatives, the doctor may propose non-surgical interventions. Some of these non-surgical techniques include wearing a splint-like device, reducing the cyst fluid via massage, or aspiration. Steroids or local anesthetics may also be prescribed should the ganglion cyst be exceptionally painful and limiting with regard to activity. As a last resort, surgery may be opted for in order to remove the ganglion cyst. Although, if pain or vast unsightliness are not issues, the doctor may simply recommend waiting for the ganglion cyst to go away on its own.

Prevention of Ganglion Cysts

There is no fool-proof way to completely prevent the formation of ganglion cysts altogether; however, there are ways in which to aid in the prevention of the occurrence or recurrence of ganglion cyst formation. Possibly one of the best ways in which to aid in the prevention of ganglion cysts is to strengthen the muscles surrounding the area where ganglion cysts are typically found and to increase flexibility in those areas. Another way to prevent the formation of ganglion cysts is to engage in warming up and cooling down exercises before working out. As ganglion cysts usually form due to exertion and repetitive exercise, by utilizing warm up and cool down methods, the individual is preparing oneself for exercise in a proper manner.

Ganglion cysts are something which plague a good deal of individuals. However, it is important to keep in mind the fact that ganglion cysts will usually go away on their own and are primarily a temporary medical condition. If one has problems with a ganglion cyst that is either painful or seems permanent in nature, it is important to visit one’s health professional for the appropriate follow-up visit.

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