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Date of last update: 10/21/2017.

Forum Name: Lymphoma

Question: Hard Knot in back of neck, possible problems?

 mpm - Fri Feb 10, 2006 8:18 pm

I am a 22 year old male college student. I lift weights roughly 3 times per week, eat as healthy as possible, and spend 40-60 hours with school, and about 20 hours a week at work. My job is computer transcription.

About a month ago or so, I noticed a hard knot in the back of my neck. The knot is about halfway between the base of my skull and shoulder which is about ear level. The knot is about an inch to the right of my spine or around the upper trapezius or levator scapulae if I am reading the anatomy chart right.

The knot is roughly the size of a marble, maybe a little bigger. It is pretty hard but not quite bone hard. When I push on it, it moves around somewhat. My first thought was that it was a myofascial trigger point since I spend so much time typing and studying. I went and got a massage and meant to ask the masseuse (sp?) about it but by the time she got around to doing that area my time was up. I couldn't get a sports massage for my first massage so I had to do half swedish half deep tissue.

Anyway it is sitll there. I haven't went to the doctor yet because I really thought and possibly still think that it was stress related. Plus the fact that I can't afford all the testing needed, and the people at the university clinic arent really the brightest.

My neck has been really stiff since Ive noticed this knot and I have to pop it alot to make it feel temporarily better at best. I haven't been sick in I don't know how long. I might have had a cold once in the past year. I did have a case of vertigo that lasted 1-2 months about a year ago. I had several tests ran but it was never diagnosed as what might be the problem.

This was part of the reason I thought it might be trigger points. Anyway, I feel great except for the neck stiffness and pain. I don't have any of the symptoms of lymphoma other than the knot. My thoughts about this just consume me and I would like to figure out what this is or isn't or at least get closer.

Any help would be appreciated. If any more information is needed, please feel free to let me know.
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Sat Feb 11, 2006 7:56 pm

User avatar Hello,

The suboccipital lymph node is located at the junction between the back of the head and neck. It drains the scalp and head. Common causes of enlargement include local infection from the scalp or surrounding tissue.

You should observe it for a couple of weeks. If during that period it should get bigger or you develop any new symptoms then you should contact your doctor immediately.

There's probably nothing to worry about.

Best regards.
 mpm - Sat Feb 11, 2006 8:31 pm

Is the suboccipital lymph node located that far down in the neck? This knot I have is located about in inch or so below my hairline which is about equivalent with the bottom of my ear lobe. I was thinking the suboccipital lymph node was located a little higher were the skull and neck actually meet, which would in the area of my hair.

I do have a couple of sores in my scalp, however. I was just thinking the subocciptals were located a little higher up but I am no doctor. I think my knot is apprxoimately 3 inches above the top of my shoulders. So i guess this would be about midway between my hairline and tops of shoulders.

Are there any specific symptoms I should look for if it is the suboccipital?

Thanks for your response.
 mpm - Sat Feb 11, 2006 8:35 pm

Oh, one last thing. I largely believe in alternative medicine, and I know DMSO has shown to help with cancer and to help with pain in joints.

I've used it before on joints with good success.

Do you forsee any problems I should be concerned with on using it on my neck? It seems like a win-win situation for helping my neck stiffness/pain, and helping the infection and/or cancer if it were cancer.

I can't think of any dangers at the moment of using this type of treatment.
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Sun Feb 12, 2006 5:28 am

User avatar Hello,

Yes you are right the suboccipital is located at the base of the skull but there are no lymph node groups located that far below. So if it isn't the suboccipital it probably isn't a lymph node.

As such I would recommend you to have it checked, just in case.

Concerning DMSO, I would be best to leave it to our Pharmacy consultant, who also happens to be an expert on free radical scavengers, to answer that for you.

Best regards.
 R. Zein, Pharm D - Sun Feb 12, 2006 5:59 pm

User avatar Dear mpm
DMSO does have anti-inflammatory properties. However, the topical use of this drug for musculoskeletal conditions and some other collagen diseases is not approved by the FDA.

This is due to the fact that the drug comes in a variety of forms, and the purity of these products is not controlled. Therefore, contaminates can be transferred to the body with topical administration.

As for any possibility of drug-drug interaction, there is one documented interaction between this drug and sulindac which is a non steriodal anti-inflammatory drug, NSAID. Sulindac may decrease the pharmacological effects of DMSO. peripheral neuropathy has been documented with the use of both drugs.

Possible side effects with topical use include mainly local dermatitis, itching , and burning.

In your case, there might be no harm of trying this agent, however, I would consult with the doctor first.

Thank you very much, and I hope you always feel better.
 addy123 - Wed Jul 21, 2010 2:29 am

I Have The Same Problem and iv had it for 4 mouths now and i cant get to sleep its really stiff also iv been to my doctor and he keeps on saying theres nothing wrong but i know there something wrong

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