Get your Health question answered in 3 easy steps
A Doctor will be with you shortly
Ask a Doctor Now
185 Doctors are Online

Swollen tender lump / lymph node on back, pain in skull when moving neck. Is this normal?

User rating for this question
Very Good
Answered by

Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1998
Answered : 1579 Questions
Hello. Last thurs and fri I felt sick. Friday I felt a mump on the back of my neck. Went to doc theysaid it was a lymph node. My skull is hurting though everytime I bend my neck from the lymph node up to maybe the middle of my head. Very tender and sore. I have been pressing it and making it worse. Is this normal?
Posted Tue, 22 May 2012 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 1 hour later
Thanks for posting your query.

From the symptoms that you have mentioned three important possibilities are coming to my mind which need to be evaluated:

1)     Firstly this swollen lump which is causing radiating pain can be a swollen lymph node in relation to any infection that you had recently. Lymphadenopathy (swollen lymph nodes) is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection and since you fell sick before this, infection causing swollen lymph node could have been responsible for this. Other causes include allergic reactions or some malignancy.

2)     Second possibility is of any cyst which is a small cystic swelling filled with a soft, whitish brown material called sebum that sometimes oozes out onto the skin's surface. It can regress in size when the sebum decreases.

3)     Third possibility is of a boil/ abscess which is causing localized pain due to compression of the underlying nerves and spinal nerves. This compression of nerves may cause referred pain in neck, arms etc which are supplied by the spinal nerves.

Apply warm compresses on the area and take some over the counter anti-inflammatory pain killer after consulting your doctor. You may also need oral antibiotics for the infection.

If the swelling persists then you need to get a MRI scan and a FNAB (fine needle aspiration biopsy) of the lump. FNAB is aspiration of the material of the glands which is done by a fine gauge needle (22 or 25 gauge) and a syringe.

MRI scan is the best test for detecting the cause of any both these tests need to be done if the lump does not regress in size after warm compresses and antibiotics. Hence you may need to get it evaluated from a surgeon.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.

Wishing you good health.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Google+
Question is related to
Diseases and Conditions
Medical Procedures
Medical Topics

The user accepted the expert's answer

Ask a Neurologist

© Ebix, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All the information, content and live chat provided on the site is intended to be for informational purposes only, and not a substitute for professional or medical advice. You should always speak with your doctor before you follow anything that you read on this website. Any health question asked on this site will be visible to the people who browse this site. Hence, the user assumes the responsibility not to divulge any personally identifiable information in the question. Use of this site is subject to our Terms & Conditions
Already Rated.
Your rating:

Ask a Doctor