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    Dec

    Bakers cyst

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    A Baker’s cyst is a fluid-filled sac that can form in the popliteal space, the hollow at the back of the knee joint. A Baker’s cyst is filled with synovial fluid, a viscous material that lubricates the knee joint.

    Baker’s cysts tend to occur in adults between the ages of 35 to 70, although they can occur in children and older adults, as well. These cysts often do not cause symptoms. It’s not uncommon for an MRI ordered for another type of knee problem to incidentally reveal a Baker’s cyst. The cysts are more common in people who have arthritis of the knee or who have had some kind of knee injury.

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    Dr. K: Home remedies help relieve symptoms of Baker’s cyst

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    Dear Doctor K: I just found out I have a Baker’s cyst. Is it serious? How is it treated?

    Dear Reader: A Baker’s cyst is a fluid-filled sac that can form in the popliteal space, the hollow at the back of the knee joint. A Baker’s cyst is filled with synovial fluid, a viscous material that lubricates the knee joint. I spoke to my colleague Dr. Celeste Robb-Nicholson, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, about this condition.

    Baker’s cysts tend to occur in adults between the ages of 35 to 70, although they can occur in children and older adults, as well. These cysts often do not cause symptoms. It’s not uncommon for an MRI ordered for another type of knee problem to incidentally reveal a Baker’s cyst. The cysts are more common in people who have arthritis of the knee or who have had some kind of knee injury.

    When the cysts do cause symptoms, they include pain in the back of the knee, stiffness of the knee and a balloon-like swelling in the back of the knee. Sometimes that swelling hurts when it is squeezed. Usually people have checked their other knee and noticed a clear difference between the knee that has the cyst and the one that doesn’t. The symptoms typically get worse with any activity that uses the knee, including standing for long periods.

    A Baker’s cyst may result if an injury to the knee triggers cells lining the knee joint to produce excess synovial fluid. If the fluid bulges into the popliteal space, a cyst can develop. (I’ve put an illustration of a Baker’s cyst on my website, AskDoctorK.com.)

    Baker’s cysts aren’t dangerous, and they may go away on their own. But occasionally they burst. If that happens, synovial fluid can leak into the calf, causing pain and swelling.

    If a Baker’s cyst causes discomfort or interferes with normal activities, there are several things you can do. To ease swelling, apply a cold pack or compression wrap to the area.

     Reduce stress on the knee by resting your leg and keeping it elevated whenever you can. When you’re up and about, use a cane or crutch.

    1. Hot and Cold Towel Method: I used this one after re-injuring my knee a little while after (thankfully, an old football coach happen to share it with my dad). It works a treat to remove the cystic fluid.

    All you do is have one bucket of hot water (must be as hot as you can handle on your skin, without giving you a third degree burn of course) and one bucket of cold water. Place a towel or good sized rag in each bucket. Start with the hot towel and place it over the cyst (do not squeeze or wring out the towel). Leave the towel there until it starts to cool and is no longer burning (usually around 30 seconds). Throw it back in the hot bucket and grab the

    cold towel. Place this over your cyst for about 30 seconds. Throw that back in the cold bucket and continue to repeat this process until you’ve gone through it at least 6-7 times. Do this 3 times per day, morning, noon and night for best results. It’s also advisable to do this outside due to the amount of water that gets spilled and the mess it makes.

    2. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV): Apple cider vinegar is excellent for removing fluid and freeing up the joints, which is why it’s such a great arthritis cure. Simply mix one tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar (must be the same as one of these and still contain the “mother” apple), along with a teaspoon of local or Manuka honey, in a glass of warm filtered water and drink 3 times daily 10 minutes before each main meal. You can also buy the ACV capsules if you can’t handle the taste of the apple cider vinegar.

    3. Herbs: Anti-inflammatory herbs and spices such as cayenne pepper, celery seed, turmeric, black pepper, ginger, cinnamon and garlic are all terrific for reducing inflammation within the knee (which is likely what’s causing your Baker’s cyst). Try and use these in your cooking as much as possible, along with adding them to a daily smoothie so you get a decent amount, otherwise they will have little effect.

    4. Cold Pressed Castor Oil: Rubbing some castor oil on your baker’s cyst (or any cyst for that matter) 3 times daily will reduce it’s size significantly in just a few short weeks. It may even be completely gone within this time. Just make sure you go with a good quality cold pressed castor oil and not a cheap brand.

     

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