Instructables
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!
 
 
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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.
 
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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.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/tutorials/ganglioncysts/op089105.pdf
Puzzledd (author)  porcupinemamma4 years ago
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.

I didn't have an eraser so I am using a battery from a rechargeable something that i would have pulled apart at sometime. I'm a little girl when it comes to this kind of stuff. Tried it last night but it returned again later. Just wondering if you felt the popping sensation and the cold feeling? Or is that just my silly hyperactive mind?

XR111 days ago

Wow, im such a fool!! The first time i got one i left it alone thinking it would go away, and it did! About 2 months later i got another and i started getting annoyed so i used a small, dull pocket knife and spun it in circles to try to pop it only to make my self bleed * face desk* suck an idiot. I tried this method and i havent got one sence and its been 5 months, YAY! thank you very much this helped alot!

KittyCatRosa3 months ago

Hi! Thank you for your idea for getting rid of a ganglion. This process has helped my ganglion shrink. I only did it for two days and then stopped. I couldn't wear it at night since I felt like my hand lost circulation. My ganglion is so annoying. On its own, it barely does anything. Sometimes it will shrink on its own. My cyst will then start to feel soft and squishy. It sometimes hurts when it shrinks on its own. (I think what is happening is sometimes on its on, the fluid will dissolve into my body and then the sac refills with more fluid) It shrinks and appears to be gone! FALSE, it comes back in a few days from appearing to be nothing then a small lump. Another few days, my small lump starts to grow and get firmer. This process has happened twice. I keep getting my hope up and thinking it will fully disappear. I got this stupid ganglion from doing exercises and putting too much stress on my wrist and hands. I was doing about five push-ups. ): I am 16. I am trying your method again. My only complaint is that I feel like I lose some circulation in my hand. It could be from my big and very long bandage or just wrapping it too tight. I have had this cyst for about a year now. I am afraid of getting it on my thump, finger, other wrist, ankles, and knees. Sorry for this ramble.

Puzzledd (author)  KittyCatRosa3 months ago

Hi KittyCatRosa,

thanks for your comments; it must be a real nuisance to have the cyst coming back all the time. I guess once the tissue around it is stretched, it may be more vulnerable to filling with fluid again. It would be worth getting some medical advice on your problem. Certainly make sure if you bandage it that it isn't too tight; you certainly don't want to cut off your circulation! Try cutting the bandage a bit shorter maybe, and unwrap it if it feels tight, but get some advice as it sounds too persistent to treat easily. Good luck!

Hi! Thank you for answering so quickly. I do not plan to get surgery on my cyst because it cost too much, my parents won't pay for it, it doesn't hurt often, and I don't like surgery. I have had stitches on the side of my wrist (I don't think this caused the ganglion cyst). I have went to my doctor. She did identified it as a ganglion cyst last year and said I could just let it shrink on its own or visit a hand surgeon. I really dislike the look. ): I cut my bandage in half! It was super long. Now I will try it again. I feel some pain when wrapping my cyst with the rubber band on top. How long did you have your ganglion cyst? Sorry for uploading a much of pictures of my ganglion cyst. They are not in chronological order. The first two ones are from about two months ago after it popped up again after somewhat dissolving in wrist. I think I may write a blog on my cyst. :) I have been taking silicea to see if it would help my cyst shrink. It doesn't seem like it does anything. Right now, my ganglion is a little bigger than the pictures.

IMG_8514.JPGIMG_8515.JPGIMG_8469.JPGIMG_8466.JPGIMG_8467.JPGIMG_8468.JPGIMG_8486.JPGIMG_8487.JPGIMG_8488.JPG

I am going to reply to my post since I made a lot of errors and one part of my previous post will likely confuse the reader. I do not like surgery because I have already had surgery else where, I am scared of it, and it will likely reoccur again. *Last year I went to my doctor . *About two months ago, my cyst on its own was draining. I felt some discomfort and tiny bit of pain. Then the skin around the cyst area was puffy, squishy, and soft. After it was puffy, my skin looked almost normal (as in no bump). Few days later, the cyst filled up and was a tiny little cyst (the first two pictures show the tiny cyst reappearing). Lastly, it was gradually becoming bigger and harder. I should stop complaining about it since I am not severely sick and I do not feel pain. D:

I over strained my wrist a year or two ago and had a cyst on my wrist that was extremely painful. I found that it disappeared completely and I had no pain after I stopped eating dairy products. I'd stopped eating them for other reasons, but every time I eat dairy or junk foods it seems to come back and be painful again. My thought is that there's something in the dairy and other things that builds up in the place where the cyst was and when I stop eating that stuff my body can clear it out. I suggest you try seeing if there's something you're eating that could be the cause as it sounds like its coming and going. You could first try foods that people are commonly allergic or intolerant to. Good luck!

Puzzledd (author)  KittyCatRosa3 months ago

Hi again KittyCatRosa,

You must be getting very frustrated with your ganglion cyst- sounds like a real pain! I don't know what else to suggest for yours other than firm but not tight bandaging; putting an eraser on it when it's squishy probably won't help because it sounds as if it's spread out too far (maybe you could try something a bit firm but wider like a piece of cardboard under the bandage, you'd have to see what wasn't uncomfortable).

You can buy wrist supports that would be easier and firmer than a bandage; it sounds as if you may need it more frequently if it keeps recurring, but I don't have any medical training so I hesitate to suggest anything other than being careful and getting advice.

I don't remember how long I had mine, as it was years ago now and I luckily haven't had it back since my second bandaging treatment. I do actually have a "baker's cyst" behind my knee, which needs bandaging fairly frequently (too big/awkward for the eraser treatment).

I do hope you have some success with your cyst, and it doesn't keep causing problems for you!

Just bend your wrist and hit it with your cellphone 2 or 3 times. Seriously i just did this and it worked.

I don't have a cellphone or device. .. I used a paper book and lightly hit my ganglion cyst and it hurt! I couldn't do that. I guess I got low pain tolerance. I am glad it worked for you! My parents would freak out and get very upset if they found out I hit my ganglion. They hate it when I massage or even touch it. They think when I touch or massage it, I am causing it become bigger when in reality it is not true. They don't understand because they don't one have. Occasionally massaging it has helped it shrink a tiny bit.

Puzzledd (author)  Ganja13691 month ago
Ouch! That sounds like the old "whack it with the family Bible" method (why ganglion cysts are sometimes known as "Bible cysts")... a bit full-on for me, but glad it worked OK for you ;)
Puzzledd (author) 1 month ago

Note: the updated link to the article recommended below by porcupinemamma is http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/tutorials/ganglioncysts/op089106.pdf

MyaVT1 month ago
Remember folks. The reason our cysts keep coming back is because of a tube or cord from the joint to the cyst. No matter what we do to the cyst, the cord keeps refilling it with clear gelatinous gel/fluid. I had one that I drained for a year and it is finally gone, and another one that shows no sign of drying up at all! :(
Puzzledd (author)  MyaVT1 month ago

Thanks for your comment. My understanding was that the tube is the sheath around the tendon which can become swollen with an excess of lubricating fluid, but I have no medical training ;) I've updated the link above to a recommended article via the US National Library of Medicine, and it seems to explain the situation clearly. And of course, you're right that compression won't stop the fluid entering the tube, but it may help to disperse excess and reduce swelling, even if it's not permanent. I hope your persistent one clears up!

Can you use something other than an eraser??
Puzzledd (author)  robin.butala1 month ago
I guess you could use anything that fits over the lump and is firm but doesn't have hard edges that will dig into your skin.... I found the eraser worked well. If you find something else that works, please let us know ;)
nirupa5 months ago

Thank you. I had a cyst on the side of my left wrist which had been there for about 3 years. I tried hitting it with "the bible" but it just duplicated itself. Tying the old rubber over it with an elastic bandage didn't work overnight but I kept it on day and night for about a week and hey presto - it disappeared. Magic. I also have a cyst under my left ear which has been there for about 35 years but I can't apply the old rubber trick to this without strangling myself, any other good ideas?

Puzzledd (author)  nirupa5 months ago

I'm glad the method worked on your wrist; don't know that it's worth strangling yourself to get rid of the one under your ear though ;)

Seriously, I don't think I'd be messing around there... a bit close to vital areas. Maybe get your doctor to treat that one.

nirupa5 months ago

Thank you so much. I had a cyst on the heel of my left wrist for about 3 years. I tried hitting it with "the bible" but it just got worse and duplicated itself. I kept the old rubber tied over it with an elastic bandage for several days (overnight wasn't enough) and abracadabraca it disappeared completely !! Magic. I've also got a cyst underneath my left ear, which has been there for about 35 years, but there's no way of applying the old rubber technique to this without strangling myself. Any other good ideas?

cwdmonroe6 months ago

Wow! This works! I had a cyst on the back of my right wrist that just popped up 3 weeks ago. I read this instructable and tried it. It worked! It's taken 1-1/2 weeks and it's barely there now! I think a couple more nights doing this and it will be gone completely. If you have a cyst, please try this before anything else!!!

magicsp00n8 months ago

I had a cyst about the size of an acorn on the back of my wrist that returned recently after being operated on about a year ago. I was not looking forward to going back to the doctor. I came across this post and gave it a try - after a week of wearing the bandage and eraser while I slept, it's gone! Or at least reduced to the point where I don't notice it. Thanks so much for posting this approach. Much easier (and soooo much cheaper) than getting my wrist cut open again!

Puzzledd (author)  magicsp00n8 months ago
I'm so pleased the method helped you! I hope it continues to be OK; sounds like a big one. Maybe keep an eye on it in case it starts to develop again ;) Good luck!
i had a cyst right at the back on my wrist , doctor operated it once but after about 6 month , it came back again and this time even larger(larger than the one shown in the image) and quite painful now again doctor operated it and i am just hoping that this time it might not come back . If it does i will surely use the trick you have given.
Puzzledd (author)  jain shubham1 year ago
Wow that sounds as if it would have been really painful that size! It would certainly need an operation:(
I treated mine when it was just starting again, and it's still OK years later... but I may have just been lucky.
Good luck with yours- I hope it will be all good now!!
i had a cyst right at the back on my wrist , doctor operated it once but after about 6 month , it came back again and this time even larger and quite painful now again doctor operated it and i am just hoping that this time it might not come back . If it does i will surely use the trick you have given.
Marjolie1 year ago
I just wanted to say a massive thank you. I signed up to this forum in order to tell you that this worked for me! Two elasticated bandages and a rubber pressed over the lump- it's gone! My hand swelled to quite an impressive size this morning but- no pain!
Thank you thank you thank you! :D
Marjolie xx
Puzzledd (author)  Marjolie1 year ago
Thanks, Marjolie, I'm really pleased that the pain is gone! I'm a bit worried at the sound of the swelling, though. It sounds as if there was either a lot of fluid in the ganglion, and it's been forced into the surrounding tissue, or maybe the bandages were a bit tight and the circulation in your hand was impeded. Keep an eye on it and get a medical opinion if you are concerned at all. Good luck:)
abeth1 year ago
It came back again a couple of nights ago, and I used this trick once again and it worked! thanks again for this wonderful advice!
Puzzledd (author)  abeth1 year ago
I'm so pleased it worked for you! I've been lucky so far, mine hasn't come back after many years:)
abeth3 years ago
I had one of these appear one morning,it was very painful, didn't go to Dr. about it because I don't have insurance, so if I have a problem I always search for natural ways to fix things! Everyone that looked at it (one being a nurse) said that it looked like a ganglion cyst, what ever it was hurt like H++L needless to say. I basically lost most use of my left hand. I only had the pain for about a week, it wasn't very big yet ,I came across this article, decided why not try this, can't make worse, so I found an eraser belonging to my granddaughter, the bandage and wrapped it up every night for only 4 nights, and by Fri morning it was still hurting but by that afternoon it was pain free! The cyst was gone! Not sure if this is what did it, but I'm glad it went away. Everyone was telling me I would have to get it cut out, so I'm glad they were wrong! It's worth trying, mine is gone so far!!! Thanks for the helpful tip!!!!
Puzzledd (author)  abeth3 years ago
Wow, it sounds a nasty one! I'm so pleased it's gone now. I'm still waiting for mine to come back, years on....

Please keep an eye on it, though, in case it's something more sinister.... you still may need that visit to the doctor if it comes back.

Here's hoping it's gone for good, though!
abeth Puzzledd3 years ago
thanks, me too, hope yours doesn't come back either!
rentwisle3 years ago
i'm going to try this to get rid of my cyst that has been bothering me for years and i haven't been able to find a dr to help me
Puzzledd (author)  rentwisle3 years ago
Good luck with that one. If it's been there for years, it may be a bit more persistent than mine. If doctors didn't want to treat it, be cautious- they may have a good reason. Hope it works out for you!
DAND3 years ago
I have a cyst the size of half a ping pong ball on my foot, do you think this technique will help?
Puzzledd (author)  DAND3 years ago
Ooh that sounds like a big one. Definitely a doctor job, in my opinion, and before it gets bigger.

Even if you can press all that fluid back into your foot it's got to go somewhere... better to get it surgically drained or see what your doctor says.

I got mine drained by a doctor when it was big, then did the pressure trick when it started to come back, when it was still small.

Good luck with it!
chuckr444 years ago
"The information is presented in a clear and concise manner."

Or not. The author did not explain what a ganglion is, nor how it differs from a boil, which is a fast-growing infection most often caused by staphylococcus bacteria. You should never "bang" a boil with anything or put pressure on it, it needs to be drained.
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