ZocdocAnswersWhat is this lump on the back side of my shoulder?

Question

What is this lump on the back side of my shoulder?

I have a hard knot/lump on the back of shoulder between collar bone and shoulder blade.

Answer

There are several different possibilities here, and probably the best thing would be to see your primary care doctor at your earliest convenience to help figure out what is going on. One of the most common causes of a knot or lump here would be a pulled muscle or spasm, which can result in a diffuse area of tenderness and stiffness. Simple injuries to these muscles are common, caused by hard physical work, poor posture, or "sleeping funny". On the other hand, if the area is not painful and if the lump is more circular and circumscribed, then this would not be consistent with a muscle injury. In this case, one possibility would be a cyst under the surface of the skin. Cysts are benign growths that can occur under the skin anywhere on the body; usually the don't hurt and they move easily under the skin. They don't usually require treatment unless they are large or become uncomfortable. Finally, a swollen gland, or lymph node, may occur in this region. Although lymph nodes can be swollen for many reasons, it is always important to have it examined to rule out the possibility of a cancer. Make an appointment with your primary care doctor as soon as you can!

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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