The wrist ganglion is a fluid-filled cyst found on the wrist. It looks like a lump or swelling and develops on the dorsum or volar wrist surface along the tendon or joint. The etiology of the wrist ganglion cyst is unknown. Usually, wrist ganglions develop spontaneously. It can be due to repetitive microtrauma or prior injury and is more common in women.
The wrist ganglion is usually firm and painless. However, it can become painful and interfere with the movements of the wrist joint. It can fluctuate in size. Needle aspiration is the treatment choice for wrist ganglion though some cases may require surgical excision. Sometimes, the ganglion resolves on its own.
The following exercises help with the functional use of the hand without any hindrance due to wrist ganglion.
- Tendon gliding stretches– It has four positions.
- Finger bend/ hook position-Starting from the open hand position with the fingers held out straight and the wrist in neutral; slowly curl your fingers down so that the tips of your fingers are touching the pads at the base of your fingers. Hold for 5 seconds and go to the starting position.
- Fist position– Make a fist with thumb on top of middle and ring fingers. Do not squeeze too tightly and hold for 5 seconds and relax.
- L-position– Slowly bend your fingers at the base keeping the knuckles straight to make an L-shaped position. Hold for five seconds and relax.
- Fingers to palm position– Bend your fingers such that the tips of your fingers rest gently on your palm. Hold for 5 seconds and relax.
- Repeat the above sequence 5-10 times.
- Wrist Range of motion– Starting position is – your elbow and forearm resting on a table and hand hanging with the palm facing down. Now gently bend your wrist forward (fingers pointing to the floor), backward(fingers pointing to the ceiling), and lastly, side to side from a neutral wrist position as if doing a handshake. Hold each position for 5 seconds and repeat ten times.
- Opening and closing the fist– Start with your outstretched hand with all your fingers straight. Then, slowly bend your hand into a fist, placing your thumb on the outside of your hand. Hold for ten seconds and release. Do not squeeze too tightly, and repeat five times.
- Finger extension-Place a rubber band around all five fingertips and spread the fingers. Do 10-15 reps in two sets. For more resistance, use a rubber band of greater thickness.
- Tendon glides- Move your hand from the position of wrist flexion with finger extension to wrist extension with finger flexion. Repeat ten times.
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