Chiropractor Questions Swelling

What is the lump that I can feel right behind my neck?

I can feel a slight lump just behind my back. This lump doesn’t hurt, but I can touch it and feel it jutting out. What could this lump be? Would it require some testing or will a chiropractor be able to identify what it is?

25 Answers

If it is in the lower neck where the upper back starts it is probably a dowager's hump. A good chiropractor can discern this. Many people wait until they have a pain or a symptom before seeing a chiropractor or any doctor. And in fact a chiropractor is the only doctor that you can see and without having any symptoms receive treatment for a misalignment before it causes problems in your body.
A chiropractor has medical training in diagnosis, as well as, a superior understanding of the anatomy. It is not unheard of for a bone that is misaligned, subluxated, jutting out of the neck. Some other qualifying questions would be, do you have normal range of motion without pressure when moving the neck? Does the jetting out point move when you turn your head? does it feel like it's beneath the skin? See a chiropractor it can be cheaper and more effective than see a family doctor for a musculoskeletal problem.
It is probably the transitional area of the spine between the Cervical and Thoracic regions of the spine. Most Chiropractors should be able to determine what it is. Feel free to call me at (631)462-0917
Without actually seeing you I can’t tell you for sure. But what you’re describing sounds like normal anatomical structure. Generally C7 or T1 protrudes right at shoulder level.

You have seven cervical vertebra labeled C1 through C7 and 12 thoracic labeled T-1 through T 12.
You mention a lump behind your neck but don't say exactly where. I assume that you are speaking of the "bump " or more prominent bulging area at the base of your neck at midline about the same height as the tops of your shoulders. If so, this is a normal anatomical structure called the "vertebral prominence" and is just the elongated spinous process of the C7 vertebrae. It is larger than that of the vertebrae, both immediately above, and below it. This part of the 7th cervical vertebrae exists because of the larger number of ligaments and muscles that attach there. As you said, it does not hurt and is perfectly normal. If you do a web search, you can see images of the skeleton and spine in particular and get an idea what it looks like.
J.L. Harris DC, DABCO
Most likely it's a lipoma, but you should definitely have someone look at it

The neck is more than just a spot so I would have to know exactly where the lump is and feel it. If it is the very bottom of the neck and feels like a small fat pad, it's called a Dowagers Hump and has quite a few causes. Mostly postural and/or related to abnormal curvature of the cervical-thoracic spine. To be safe, you can get an X-ray and/or consult a chiropractor or medical physician to confirm it isn't a mass. Again, not enough info to give you a clear diagnosis. Hope I helped. Got your back!
Dr. Todd Gewant
Yes a chiropractor will be able to identify what the lump is. Could be bone, inflamed nerve, fatty tumor, muscle spasm, or a number of other things.
While this could be something simple like a lymph node or a lipoma, any lump detected should be reason enough to see your primary care doctor for diagnostic testing.
A lump that is not painful and projects out, may be several things, the most common being a lipoma, a small ball of sequestered fat, harmless and many people have them. That being said, without examining it is too hard to properly diagnose it. My recommendation is to get to a doctor, who can properly evaluate it.
Could you clarify your question? Is it the neck or the back? Your heading says neck but your question says back.
A lump could be several things. Most likely you are referring to a Dowager's Hump, which can be a result of poor posture. Find a chiropractic clinic that does X-ray and they can most likely help you further your investigation.

It is probably a sebaceous cyst or what is know as a fatty tumor which is harmless, but I would see my medical doctor just to be sure.
Without seeing what you are referring to it's hard to tell, but I would start with a chiropractor.
Great Question.

Do you live in the Rockford area?
Might be a spinal bone out of alignment.
May be a soft tissue problem. Could be a fatty accumulation called a lipoma; in most cases, they are no significant cause of worry. I recommend you see your pcp to see it.
Yours in health,
Dr. Zara
No idea without seeing or palpating it. Lipoma, lymph node, etc... go see your primary care or dermatologist.
Thank you for your question. Without seeing you, it is difficult to 100% diagnose, but based on what you have said, I believe this is a Dowager's hump. It is a small, abnormal curvature of the thoracic spine. These rarely are anything but a cosmetic problem, these humps can lead to other problems both above and below that can cause pain and decreased function. A chiropractor will be able to properly diagnose what it is and give you some exercises to help prevent it from getting larger and possibly improve it. Understand that this rarely requires a large amount of visits and is not something that needs to be "corrected", but rather managed.
It's hard to say without seeing it, but most patients point to the C7 Spinous process that tends to stick out a little more. It's called the vertebral prominence. Sometimes, it enlarges when there is a misalignment or swelling of the joint and can be painful to the touch. A chiropractor can tell you for sure if it needs further testing.
More information is needed to answer this question.
Any physician should be able to examine the lump and determine if it is osseous (bony) or soft tissue. It may be a lipoma, a cyst, or even a trigger point if it is soft tissue. If it is determined to be bony, an X-ray should be provided to determine the cause. Make sure to get it checked out to make sure it's not something serious. Take care.
Dr. Miller
Lumps arise from several different issues, soft tissues can form scare tissue and produce lumps, bones move forward, backward, left and right- so if a bone is out of alignment a lump can form. Lumps could be benign or more serious. I recommend getting it checked at your local doctor. Yes, a chiropractor would be able to help you address this as well.
7th cervical vertebrae or the 1st thoracic vertebrae. It’s very common.
There are many causes of lumps in the neck. The most common lumps or swellings are enlarged lymph nodes. These can be caused by bacterial or viral infections, cancer (malignancy), or other rare causes.

Swollen salivary glands under the jaw may be caused by infection or cancer. Lumps in the muscles of the neck are caused by injury or torticollis. These lumps are often at the front of the neck. Lumps in the skin or just below the skin are often caused by cysts, such as sebaceous cysts.

The thyroid gland may also produce swelling or one or more lumps. This can be due to thyroid disease or cancer. Most cancers of the thyroid gland grow very slowly. They are often cured with surgery, even if they have been present for several years.

All neck lumps in children and adults should be checked right away by a health care provider. In children, most neck lumps are caused by infections that can be treated. Treatment should start quickly to prevent complications or the spread of infection.

As adults age, the likelihood of the lump being a cancer increases. This is particularly true for people who smoke or drink a lot of alcohol. Most lumps in adults are not cancers. I recommend having your general medical specialist take a look at it before you seek conservative methods.