Neck lump or muscle knot?

A few days ago my neck was aching me and felt tight. I put it down to a tight neck muscle but then I started feeling about and felt what I think is a lump but I’m not sure. It does not protrude out of the skin and can’t be seen. I can only feel it when I push my fingers into the side of my neck. I don’t know if it is a muscle knot or something more worrying, I’m so scared :( 

  • Hi AnxietyGirl.

    I am not a doctor and I have no medical qualification. This is how I see it as a lay person. 

    This is most likely a raised lymph node. That is a very common situation and is usually in response to an infection. The lymph node is doing its job, fighting off an invading bacterium or virus. It should go down within 2-3 weeks. Right now there is nothing to feel anxious about. Your body is simply doing what it's supposed to do.

    If the gland hasn't gone down after 3 weeks, or you start running a temperature, or you start getting severe night sweats (more than would normally be expected with this current spell of hot weather) then see your GP.  But right now, there's no reason to be concerned. 

    See this page for more information:

  • Hi there Telemando, 

    I know deep down that i am probably ok and i was thinking it was more a muscular thing than a lymph node but it also could be that,  it all came about through alot of stress and the side of my neck felt so tense, tight and sore.  The neck isnt feeling as sore or tight anymore but because i stupidly decided to start digging around in the area it was hurting i felt something.  I sometimes find it difficult to find and have to really have a search for it and can only feel it when the neck is stretched out to one side. 

    Damn HA is a nightmare!

  • Hi AnxietyGirl

    You might find this short video useful when it all gets on top of you:

    Watch it all the way through first time, but you can skip 2 minutes in on subsequent viewings. 

  • My anxiety is out of control this morning, I woke up in a panic and a cold sweat and then vomited! This is all getting too much for me I’m so worried. 

    I’m hoping I can see a doctor today to get some reassurance.




    I managed to get a doctors appointment at 2.50 today althougth its with a doctor i dont particularly like :( hopefully can get to the bottom of what it is i just need some reassuarance. 

  • Hi everyone, thought I would give an update on my situation. I’m still extremely worried but I do have HA so that’s normal. 

    At my doctors appointment I told my doctor about my neck hurting and the tightness she made me do some neck movements then she checked my glands as I had said I felt what I thought was a knot. 

    She said my glands felt fine but I don’t know if she felt the particular lump I am worried about and I didn’t want to push because I was scared my HA would come up. 

    The doctor told me that glands sometimes swell for unknown reasons and told me she had a big on the back of her neck that’s always been there. She told me to come back if it gets bigger. 

    I don’t feel as reassured as I want to be and I feel sick from worry. I’m afraid to go back to the doctors because I was only there on Monday. I don’t want it all to be blamed on my HA and for my concerns to be taken seriously. 

    Im really scared I have cancer and nobody is going to listen to me :( 

  • Things are just getting worse and worse, i am still so worried about this lump in my neck because i don't know what it is.  I can cope and accept things when i know what i am dealing with i fear the unknown. 

    I have called the doctors this morning but there are no appointments so i have to wait for a call back from my Dr i just need to talk to her and get some reassuarance because i am terrified.  

    The past few days have been the worst and ive considered ending my life a few times in the end i contacted samaritans because i didnt know what else to do. 

    My partner has now ended our relationship because he cannot take much more which has made the whole situation 100 times worse because now i have no one around me for support. 

    I dont know what to do life is unbearable at the moment.

  • Hi AnxietyGirl, 

    I'm glad to hear that you've called the doctors this morning, and you're waiting for a call-back. Please do tell them what you've told us about how this extreme worry has been affecting you. 

    It sounds like you're having such a miserable time with it, I wondered if you'd considered joining Anxiety UK? They have a brilliant range of services including online counselling, a forum and a live chat service. NHS Choices also has a Health Anxiety self-help guide which might be of interest. 

    I hope your appointment with the GP goes well and you're able to get some reassurance. Do let us know how it went.

    Wishing you all the best,

    Cancer Chat moderator

  • Hey how are you getting on? 

    Firstly I wanted to tell you how brave you are... a) for coming in here to seek help and B) for calling the Samaritans 

    I really hope things are getting easier? 

    Stay strong xx

  • Hi [@AnxietyGirl]‍ 

    this “lump” or “muscle knot” you had in your neck long ago, what was it? i’m 16, and i’ve had this small lumpy-thing in the side of my neck for years which has remained the same size, and nothing has brought issue. i’m just worried what it could be - i don’t know if it’s a muscle knot; i don’t wanna get myself worked up. thank you x 

  • Hi it ended up just being a node that is just there nothing sinister it's just the way it is. As long as it doesn't get big like a golf ball size where is visibly protruding out of your neck then I honestly would not worry. If you are feeling so worried where you can't get on with normal life then go to a doctor to put your mind at ease.