Treatment of Ganglion CystBump on the wrist called a ganglion cyst

Ganglion cysts are usually round or oval-shaped and filled with a thick, jelly-like fluid. These soft-tissue fluid-filled lumps are usually harmless, generally painless, and often go away on their own. However, some can become painful and will need to be drained or surgically removed. Once the ganglion has reduced in size, STARS therapists can aid in the healing process.

To treat ganglions located on the top of the wrist by draining them, the area is numbed and the cyst is punctured with a needle so the fluid can be drawn out; however, even after the ganglion has been drained, recurrence is likely. Because activity often causes ganglions to grow in size, immobilizing the joint immediately after the cyst has been drained with a custom splint, made by a STARS therapist, for a few weeks can relieve symptoms and allow the ganglion to continue shrinking. During this time, STARS certified hand therapists (CHT) and other experienced hand therapists will incorporate manual therapy to help move fluid out of the sac, encouraging the cyst to grow smaller.

Once the cyst is removed or decreases in size, therapy can help continue to reduce swelling and discomfort, and prevent future occurrences. Throughout the sessions, STARS therapists may incorporate a wider variety of treatments such as manual therapy, Astym® Treatment, Graston Technique®, electric stimulation to decrease inflammation and increase blood flow, as well as in session and at home exercises.

STARS therapy helps to increase hand strength, flexibility and coordination, and restore maximum range of motion (ROM) to the wrist and hand. In order to continue the healing process after each appointment, STARS certified hand therapists can create an individualized exercise program that can be performed at home.

Such exercises may include:

  • Passive ROM exercises (you, using the other hand, or your therapist moves your wrist)
  • Active ROM exercises (you move the wrist on your own)
  • Strengthening exercises with and without weights
  • Finger extensions using a special rubber band
  • Grip exercises using a ball
  • Resistance band exercises to improve ROM

Regaining full ROM and strength will enable a faster return to daily activities among others such as gardening and tennis!

Creating an individualized treatment plan along with a STARS therapist will decrease the likelihood of the ganglion cyst reoccurring. And in the case that the ganglion were to increase in size again, therapy will help to reduce the pain and discomfort efficiently.

If you are experiencing pain or discomfort caused by a ganglion cyst, make an appointment with a STARS hand therapists at any of the following locations: Boise Curtis, Nampa Garrity Clinic, Fruitland, and Ontario.

We look forward to hearing from you and helping you return to the activities you love!

Related Articles