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What is the reason for lump like swelling on my back ?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1998
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i am 46 years old and in excellent health. I have noticed on the right side of my back a large bump/ feels like a mass, rather than a lump- which i feel under my skin. It is on the right hand side of my spine half way down my back from next to my shoulder blade coming down next to my bra strap. I do not know if it is a swelling, a muscle spasm but there is no pain and just that feeling of discomfort in the back because i feel it there. When i sleep or use a hot water bottle on it, it seems to go down but not completely down as yet as i only started using the hot water bottle a day or so ago. I have noticed it for about a month now. Any ideas?
Posted Wed, 11 Apr 2012 in General Health
 
 
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 1 hour later
Hello,

Thanks for posting your query.

This lump which has appeared on the back can be due to a swollen lymph node, a lipoma or a benign tumor which is pressing on the underlying nerve and causing discomfort.

It will be very helpful for me in understanding your condition better if you could answer some of these questions:
1) Is the lump soft to touch or hard in consistency?
2) Did you have any fever, viral infection, trauma or any allergy recently?
3) Is the lump mobile?
4) Is there any overlying redness, swelling or erythema?

For the confirmation of diagnosis, you need to get this lump examined from a doctor and get a MRI scan for any soft tissue growth and a FNAB (fine needle aspiration biopsy) done.

FNAB is aspiration of the material of the lump which is done by a fine gauge needle (22 or 25 gauge) and a syringe. This will confirm the diagnosis as most likely this lump is due to a swollen lymph node or a benign growth like a lipoma. Swollen lymph node is often caused by an infection, allergic reactions, cancer, metabolic diseases, and an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism).

Till then, you get this lump examined from a doctor, apply warm compresses on the lump because if it is a swollen lymph node then application of warm compresses will help.

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
 
Follow-up: What is the reason for lump like swelling on my back ? 1 hour later
thanks for the reply. to andswer your questions-the lump (i would call it a bump because it does not really have a begining or end) is hard in consistency. It is not really mobile, there is no overlying redness, etc. I have not had any fever, viral infection or anything recently. I have had an xray done but it shows nothing except a slight curvature of the spine of a millimetre or so but my doctor says i may need calcium tablets. He says it could be bad posture that causes it. Any thoughts on reading this?
Follow-up: What is the reason for lump like swelling on my back ? 4 minutes later
Actually, i say it is on one side of the spine. i should say that it is more pronounced on the right side but there is the same thing on the left side but much smaller and slighter. I am wondering if it is just a bad posture issue and the muscles have contracted.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 11 hours later
Hello,

Thanks for writing back.

If there is slight curvature of the spine like in few mm then, this lump is unlikely to be related to posture issues or spinal causes like scoliosis. Had it been scoliosis spine, it would have come out apparently on the x-ray.

From what you have described it looks like a diffuse lump (since the beginning and end is not known) and it more or less rules out any swollen lymph node also.

For such a diffuse lump, the investigation of choice is MRI of the area. Since you are starting to have a smaller and slighter bump on the left side of spine as well, it is best to get an MRI of the area so as to rule out any benign growth/ tumor. It is less likely to be contracted muscles.

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.

Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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