I am a 47 year old male. I have had a very stiff neck, trapezius and shoulder pain and stiffness for over 6 months. Neck x-ray normal. Non-Contrast Cervical MRI normal. Physical Therapy did not help. Chiropractor did not help. Working on deep tissue massage. I sit at a computer all day and have been in a temporary office during this time with just a work table and chair with no raising or lowering option. I have bad eyesight and thought the pain just may be caused by tension due to my posture and looking slightly up through my bifocals.
A couple of weeks ago I felt a pea sized nodule which I interpreted to by a lymph node. It is not painful. It is located at the base of the neck an inch or two above the collarbone toward the right side basically at the center of my pain. It is a pretty severe pain especially in the crease of neck where the neck and shoulder meet. Streching exersizes cause a stiff seemingly muscle pain in that whole area. Dr. didn't seemed concerned about lymph node when I went to let him examine. Prescribed an anti-inflamatory.
I am concerned regarding the lymph node. Could it be causing all the pain and stiffness even though it is painless? Could the pain and inflamation in my neck and shoulder cause the lymph node to swell? I am very confused at why I have tried everything, yet I cannot get rid of the pain and stiffness and am concerned about the lymph node? He did not order any blood work, etc. Just thought I had muscle tension and stiffness.
Does anyone have any suggestions or comments on the lymph node. Is that normal. It may have been there forever but I only noticed it due to massaging my neck and shoulder due to the pain.
Any help or comments would be greatly appreciated.
Usually, a swollen lymph node suggests an injury or infection in the area. Since it appeared after months of stiff neck and shoulder, I wonder if your too-tight muscles are somehow constricting the flow through the swollen node. Have you tried heat or muscle relaxants to see if they help?
In some rare cases, swollen lymph nodes indicate something serious, so it is worth pursuing. This page on WebMD on swollen lymph nodes is pretty good. For just a single node, they say injury or infection, and rarely cancer. If you get another one in a different location, there is a whole list of possibilities for that.
I personally would ask for more involved tests to see what is going on. Six months is a long time for basic stiffness. Perhaps an MRI of your shoulder would be revealing.
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