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If you have a ganglion cyst* on your hand or foot, the treatments can be painful, if not dire:

 you can go to your doctor who will insert a big needle and drain the cyst (ouch!),
you can have surgery- expensive and painful – double ouch
or the old folk remedy is to hit it with the family bible – triple ouch!

I haven’t tried the surgery or the family bible remedy, but I have had a ganglion drained- it wasn’t fun, and it did grow back after about a year.

The next time it appeared, I worked out my own remedy- cheap, relatively painless, and effective- the ganglion hasn’t re-appeared and it’s been a few years now.

* Of course, you need to go to your doctor to get any lump checked- don't just assume it's a ganglion.

 For more information on ganglia, check with your doctor or on the internet. The main image I have used here is from Wikipedia- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganglion_cyst (I can’t photograph mine as I don’t have it any more!). Remember that information on the internet is just someone's opinion and may not be accurate!
 

Step 1: What I used

What I used:

i. an old eraser with worn edges, large enough to cover the ganglion* (you’re going to press in against your skin so it should be firm but not hard, with rounded edges so they won’t dig in).

ii. a bandage (stretchy is best) and closure/safety pins

* If your ganglion is huge, it’s probably gone too far for this method to work- best to treat it while it’s still small. Remember that this method may not be right for you.; check with your health professional.
 
When I was in college, this site was reccommended and endorsed by the professional nurse who taught many of the medical courses I took. The information is presented in a clear and concise manner. <br> <br>http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/tutorials/ganglioncysts/op089105.pdf
Thanks for the info- this looks good, with clear diagrams, too:)
You are most welcome. Hope you have a happy weekend. BTW, the bird in your avatar is very very sweet.
<p>Finally got my eraser and ace bandage. I tried it and it doesn't feel to bad. I could probably sleep with it. My ganglion is very hard, feels like a stone :( so I'm afraid this may not work. Smashing it has not worked of late. I think it may have in the past.</p><p>I have an appt set up with an orthopedic doc to have it drained but hoping this will get rid of it first. I'm kinda craving having it drained though lol.</p>
I'm glad you're getting a professional to look at it- sounds nasty if you've already been smashing it (OUCH!) and it's gone hard. Hope you get it sorted!
<p>Finally went to the ortho and had X rays. It's a run of the mill ganglion and according to the doc it's not very hard. To me it feels very hard but I trust him. Anyway, he did not even mention draining it. He suggested outpatient surgery with local anesthesia to remove. I'm going to make an appt with another ortho for drainage. Why would I jump straight into surgery without even trying to drain first? And I'm trying the eraser method again and may do it for a few nights in the hope of some change. I'm having trouble keeping the eraser over the ganglion though as it tends to slide back.</p>
<p>As far as I recall it has always been hard! I cannot remember it ever feeling soft to the touch.</p>
<p>I have ganglion cysts on my wrist for years and I didn't know what it was until when it recently started to get really painful. It gotten so painful that it interfered with my daily activities. I couldn't apply any pressure or it would strain and hurt for days. The options are like most mentioned, to remove the fluid with a syringe or go for a minor surgery. However, my dad who is a Chinese physician, treated me with his method. Please note that this treatment is by an experience and certified Sinseh. He use a 0.35mm acupuncture needle and burn it till red hot. Then he quickly poke and release at the infected cysts. I am lucky as I only did this once and the pain was gone. He told me that I would need a few more follow up and that is may reoccur in future. I am so glad it is gone now. Hopefully, forever. Regarding the method suggested my the author, my dad said it works only if the cysts is not too big or after the fluid is drained (to disperse the remaining fluid in the wrist if any). Good luck to the rest of you! Hope you get cured soon.</p>
<p>You're lucky to have a physician in the family- great that you got good treatment and as you say by someone qualified. Thank you for the note that the pressure/bandage should only be used if the cyst isn't too full of fluid- that's worth remembering :)</p>
<p>i had a synovial cyst on my right wrist for about 2 years before i decided to go for a surgery. Now, two years after the surgery, the cyst slowly came back. I'm a basketball player, without using my hand it's useless. I already tried the treatment that you did long time ago but didn't work. i'm planning buy some wrist splint to prevent my wrist from bending again. I hope this could work. Any opinion on my case ? </p>
<p>I'd still be inclined to try bandaging overnight for a while to see if it works, especially if it's not too big yet, and I guess it's worth trying the wrist split too - both non-invasive, cheap and should be harmless if you don't overdo it - but you may need to seek medical opinion as it sounds as if it's a big problem for you. Good luck, and let us know how you go :)</p>
Using a key float instead of an eraser. Feels like it's working. Thanks for the great Instructable.
<p>Interesting - thanks for sharing, and for the pic. Hope it works for you :)</p>
<p>It worked. It was very painful at first, so I only did it for an hour at a time until it felt better, then left it on all night. It has been reduced to about a third of its original size. Ill continue with this. Thanks for the Ible'.</p><p>Lex</p>
<p>Glad it seems to be working for you! Hope you have further success :)</p>
What i am telling tou with this message is not really a way to get rid of a ganglion but just my experience! I have a ganglion on my feet actually i don't have it at the moment but let me tell gou what happened. So i had problem with my feet. Pain under the bridge. Ii had it in the mornings, after a long walk, and this pain became a problem because i wans't able to qalk from time to time. But because of my age I never wanted to go to the doctor. After last summer i noticed a cyct on the top side of my feet. That's when i decided to go to the doctor but I ended up making other bad choices. The first one wasn't that bad. I decided to go the doctor that builds the orthotics. They created a pair for my feet and after a months i got rid of the pain. But the cyst was still there and it was growing. So i went to the doctor for a surgery. That's my wrong decision! After 2 months from the surgery the cust came back as it was. And it was also a little more painful. So i canged doctor i went to a fisiotherapy center and I started a journay of rehabilitation. I started with breath suppor and now we are working on body strenght and allignment and feet position! In all this my cyst is still there and growing! But my body is more toned and i walk better. And i had to threw my pair of orthotic because my body changed and those support became painful and not helpful anymore. But why i am writing all this post? Yesterday i went to a different doctor of the same center. He was the same catgoey of the doctor that did my surgery but he qorks in this center i am going (sorry i am italian and i don't know specific words). He saw my cyst and he asked me...can i press it till it explodes? And i said why? It's going to hurt and he answered .. If it hurts you'll stop me! I let him and it popped. Exploded on the inside. I don't have a cyst at the moment but he advised me that it's going to come back! If it does i have two choices: to popped it every time or to take the liquid out and then do a cortison infiltration for a bout for times. I prefer to pop it. But in the mean time i'll do my fisiotherapy! I have also tried the metod suggested in this page but unfortunately it didn't work on my case! But i still apreciate dthe effort and i think it's a good metod for some cyst. That's why i am here writing my experience! Thanj you so much! And i'll write an update in about a month!
I forgot to mention why i wrote this message! I don't know what cause a ganglion but i know that it my case was negligence and lazyness! What i mean is when i had that pain on my feet which meant something was wrong i could have done something! And also if you have the chance dob't disregard physical activity to balance your body! If you can do swimmingg. Sorry for all the mistakes! And hope we can find a way to get rid of the ganglion!
Hi Raffy, thank you for taking the time to share your experiences! Your cyst sounds a real nuisance,but I wouldn't be too hard on yourself - we all develop weaknesses in our bodies as we age, but I agree that exercise can help, especially with circulation, which may help to drain away the fluid that collects in cysts.<br>I'd be inclined to watch the problem spot and, if you see the swelling begin again, you could try bandaging it at night to see if it helps to stop it developing... also try keeping your foot up when you can to help stop the liquid collecting in your feet.... but that's just my opinion and I'm certainly not a doctor- don't do anything that could be harmful without medical advice, of course.<br>Good luck- I'll be keen to hear how you go!
I most defenately will follow both sudjestions! Fingers crossed! And thank you for taking the time to check this page!
<p>I believe I have a small ganglion cyst on the inside of my left middle finger... feels like it's on the flexor tendon sheathe on/near the proximal inter-phalangeal joint. </p><p><a href="http://www.eorthopod.com/images/ContentImages/hand/finger_swan_neck_deformity/finger_swanneck_anatomy01.jpg" rel="nofollow">http://www.eorthopod.com/images/ContentImages/hand...</a></p><p>It seems to be what's discussed here: <a href="http://www.boneandjoint.org.uk/content/jbjsbr/55-B/3/612.full.pdf" rel="nofollow">http://www.boneandjoint.org.uk/content/jbjsbr/55-B...</a></p><p>It kinda suddenly appeared about 2 weeks ago. I think what brought it on is a repetive stress injury from vaping (pressing the button on my vaporizer with my left middle finger).</p><p>I'm going to try wrapping it to apply pressure and let you guys know if it works.</p>
<p>Well, it's pretty much gone.</p><p>No way to know if it wouldn't have just gone away on its own, but wrapping it in electrical tape didn't hurt.</p>
<p>Glad it's almost gone! Remember it could come back though, so keep an eye on it and bandage again if needed :)</p>
Good luck - it will be good to know if it works :)
Im trying this tonight fingers crossed x
Ok I have hit it with a bible yes it hurt it came back months later ...now no lump but pain ...do u think it would work ?
<p>If there's pain there I'd get it checked by a doctor in case the whack has caused some damage inside... hope it's OK!</p>
Will this work for ganglion cysts on pinkies, like on the hinge of it? Is there a different way? I kinda wanna know this so i dont have to have a doctor or nurse puncture it with a needle, considering im terrified of them. (Needles not medical professionals)
I had one on the joint of my thumb (operated on, 6 months recovery!) and when the ganglion returned I wrapped the joint overnight with elastic tape (a kind of crepe tape which sticks together, used for reducing swelling after the operation). After a few nights, the joint seemed back to normal, and no problems since. Worth a try ;)
<p>my cyst (base of thumb) hurts when pressed. it has been there a while and interferes with functioning by hurting. i don't have an eraser, but should i try the method, even though it hurts when pressed?</p>
<p>You'd need to be careful if it's hurting - there must be a nerve involved. I'd get medical advice and if it's OK, try bandaging fairly firmly (but not too tight) with a stretchy bandage for a few nights to see if that helps. That worked on my thumb joint ;)</p>
Will this work on the inside of the ankle?
I don't see why not... worth a try? Let us know how you go if you do try it :)<br>
<p>This method absolutely does work !! Had a cyst underside of my wrist . About dime size . Just do as the post suggest . It really surprised me , but am so glad I tried it !</p>
<p>I'm really glad it worked for you! </p>
<p>I wonder if anyone has tried this a a foot before. I had one on my right foot and had it removed. It came back a few years later and I had it removed again. The third time I had it taken out it has so far been good but now I have one on the other foot. I do not want to get it drained. It almost looks like a bunion but I know its now. I did try to wrap it overnight but it really didn't do much.</p>
<p>I've had one for about a year now, and before I try this method (I'm a cautious person) I was just wondering if anyone has experienced any side effects from this.</p>
<p>I've had a ganglion cyst palm side, under the thumb (volar ganglion) for about 3-4 years now. I was lucky in that it never really hurt, and it wasn't all that big, but for a few months recently it had stayed a larger size and I was tired of it being there. Even though I'd looked into removal methods before, this was the first time I found this method! I really didn't want to have surgery on something so minor and delicate, and then I found some sources that said draining a volar ganglion is risky because it's so close to the radial artery. </p><p>Anyway, I decided I'd give this a shot before trying anything more invasive, AND IT WORKED! I don't usually use caps, I'm pretty excited. I didn't wear it overnight because I was being cautious due to a warning in one of the previous comments about damage to tendons on the palm side. So I just wore it for about 30 mins at a time, and at the most, it was slightly uncomfortable for a little while. Then I increased my time across several days; I think the max I wore the wrapping at one time was three hours. The cyst is barely visible now; if I bend my wrist back I can see just the slightest bulge, and it's still a bit squishy, but it's so so so much better. </p><p>Thank you so much for this remedy! I know this isn't researched and people could have different results in this process, but I wish this info was more well-known. Aside from some people saying they massage their cyst when it's small, this is the only place I've ever seen this kind of advice, and it's much more practical than anything else. Thanks again!</p>
You're welcome- I'm SO pleased it worked for you. I'm glad you're being careful when it's in such a delicate area, and I hope you continue to have success :)
I've had a ganglion for over 10 years now. I've been able to control the pain with a wrist brace for the most part. About 2 weeks ago the pain was so unbearable that I couldn't move my wrist in the slightest without pain, so I tried this method. I did it for 2 nites and have NO pain whatsoever now. And the lump is gone. Would highly recommend trying this before surgery or draining a cyst. It's a lot less expensive and virtually pain free
I have the same cyst on the inside of the wrist i sprained a few months ago. About the size of a q tip swab. I tried to pop it w a book. It went away but came back. Its extremely painful. I hope this method works bc of my job.
<p>Good luck- certainly worth a try even if you have to do it for a few nights until it goes, then maybe later on if it re-appears. Maybe there's still some damage from when you sprained the wrist- I'd be getting it x-rayed in case, if you haven't already. Hope it all heals well for you :)</p>
<p>i have this cyst for over year i ll try it, and i will let you guys know my experience, thanks for the tip!!!</p>
Good luck! If it's well-established, the surrounding tissue may not absorb the fluid easily, but it's worth a try for a few nights... hope it works for you and please do let us know how it goes :)<br>
<p>Hello, so I have had this cyst for about 3 months now and I went to the doctor today...well she attempted to press down on it and pop it and it would budge. I'm think of trying this trick hoping for better result. My question is do you think it's possibly to big and needs to be drained? How many nights should I try this method, if I did decide to try?</p>
<p>Wow there's a lot of fluid in that, but if it's only developed over the last few months, I'd be inclined to try bandaging it firmly at night (probably too big to fit under an eraser lol). Maybe try for about a week? I'd probably be putting some kind of bandage on in the daytime, too, or even an elastic wrist support to cover it. But go by what your doctor recommends- I don't have medical training! It may need draining, then you could bandage ii if it starts to re-appear, before it gets too big. Good luck :)</p>
<p>I've had a ganglion cyst in my wrist for years. The only thing that helps is resting. Having it drained or removed seems too painfu. I'm very anxious to try this!</p>
Good luck! If it's been there for years, it may not respond though as the surrounding tissue could have changed - might be good to get it checked by a doctor first if it's a big one (if you get it drained, you can always use the eraser/compression every now and then to keep it away if it starts to re-appear). Hope it works for you!!
<p>Hello! I was hoping for your suggestion. I have a cyst on the top of my right wrist. It cannot be seen from the outside so im assuming its a little deep inside. It has been very painful and the doctor said he cant see it to drain with a needle since its small but he can feel it. (crazy how something so small can cause pain). Basically my only other option would be to have it surgically removed(which i really dont want to try just yet) do you think this method is ok to try when your cyst is inside your hand? i can feel it when i run my fingers over it so i would know where to place the eraser. Thoughts?</p>
<p>Hi there, I'd certainly try it - maybe check with your doctor first, but the eraser/compression method is non-invasive and cheap, so probably worth a go ;)</p><p>I had a tiny but pesky cyst inside my thumb years ago which needed an hour-long operation (and 6 months' recovery) to remove, so when it came back recently I wrapped it in firm bandaging for a few nights, and it seemed to work even though the cyst was hidden in the joint.... hope it works for you!</p>

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