Ganglion means a thickened collection of nerve cells, usually pea or kidney bean size, distributed along the course of the nerve trunks. They are similar to the points in an electric wiring system where many wires meet to be branched out again to a substation.
Ganglia are substations along the nervous system, sending out nerve fibers to communicate and intercommunicate with other nerves.
The sympathetic nervous system which controls all automatic body activity consist of chains of ganglia on each side of the spinal column.
Ganglion is also a name used to designate swelling in the fibrous tissue of joints.Very often such swellings, the size of a small hazel nut, appear on the back of the wrist joint or in front of the ankle.
They are merely swellings in the joint tissues, sometimes filled with fluid.If left alone, they usually disappear. But if they are painful and annoying, they may be forcefully pressed upon and will flatten out and the fluid will be absorbed.
A doctor can insert a hypodermic needle into the ganglion and draw the fluid out.An old -fashioned method of treating ganglia is by hitting the area very sharply with a book.That was the method employed by the old-time doctors.
Ganglia are often caused by the strain of hard work, women who do a lot of clothes washing often develop them on their wrists