Lump on back of neck near spine: 18 Causes and Treatments

A lump on back of neck near spine is a terrible and worrying experience to have. It might be a truly annoying or hurtful thing to have, but we might help! Let us explore all the possible causes and treatments of lump on back of neck near spine over this article.

A lump on back of neck near spine might trigger important health issues and have hidden causes which are occurring on the body for which in most cases people seek the advice of a physician, and sometimes they undergo serious treatments.

But not all back lumps are dangerous even though there are numerous reasons for lump on back of neck near spine.


lump on back of neck near spine
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Usually, bumps are a small area of the skin which is raised by abnormal tissue, and it’s either on the skin surface or within the skin.

Symptoms of lump on back of neck near spine include:

  • Hard or a soft bump on the back of one’s neck
  • Smaller or larger bumps on back of neck near spine
  • Itchy and painful bumps
  • Tenderness, redness or irritation of the skin on the back of the neck near the spine
  • Blisters and sores filled with fluid on the back of the neck near the spine.
  • Bumps with scar-like features on the neck which may not be itchy or lumps that are painless
  • Lymph nodes which are swollen on the side of one’s neck.
  • Redness or a rash on the skin at the back of the neck
  • Differently coloured bump, grey, pink, white, grey, yellow or even nude coloured lump on back of neck near spine
  • Rigid or a stiff neck which makes it difficult to move
  • A lump on back of neck near spine can also accompany other strange symptoms such as fever, headaches, chills, sore throat, and others. In case you notice the above symptoms, you can seek the help of your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

Causes of lumps on back of neck near spine:

We have 4 common categories:

  • A – Rashes or small red bumps< 1cm
  • B – Large Red Bumps > 1cm
  • C – Soft Lumps
  • D – Hard Lumps

Category A:

Insect bites:

Small lumps on the back of the neck near the spine might be caused by insect bites. Depending on the insect your skin can be irritated and create a lump even if the insect just crawled on your skin, without the biting to even occur! Mosquito or other insect bites such as flies in the summer are the most common causes of insect bites.

Hair which is ingrown:

We all have parts that we shave or remove hair from, and our skin is not immune to such a harsh process. A lump on back of neck near spine can be caused from an ingrown hair or a razor bump, and it’s a group appearance of extremely tiny bumps together which present a hair loop which exits or re-enters the skin layer.

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Usually, people with curly hair have it because the hair is making a circular motion while growing. However, it’s not immune to other types of hair. One type of prevention could be by stopping the save close to the skin. Other types include exfoliation of the skin or considering a different type of hair removal.

Bacterial Folliculitis:

Other causes which are incredibly common for causing a lump on back of neck near spine can be the bacterial folliculitis. Bacterial folliculitis is the inflammation of the hair follicles caused by infections.

It heals by itself in few weeks, or a topical medicine can be applied to a faster healing process. Usual medicine that’s famously used is Mupirocin which can speed up the healing process of the infected area.

Lice Bites:

Lice are hard to get rid of. They are major causes of a lump on the back of the neck near the spine. Bites from lice form bumps at the back of the neck near the spine all the time and are usually near hair or spine area.

Small white coloured lice are approximately 1 mm big, are closely attached to hairline and roots and even look similar to dandruff and are almost unrecognizable because dandruff is loosely attached as well.


Shingles or otherwise known as herpes zoster and are caused by a backlash from the virus called chickenpox. It usually occurs with pain either left or right side of the shoulders or neck, but not at the same time on same sides at one time.

They have the effect of itchy or burning blisters. The blisters, pain and rash can disappear in a month by themselves usually.

Folliculitis Keloidalis:

Another inflammation which can be common is Folliculitis keloidalis, and it occurs on follicles of hair which have a cause that it’s unknown but red bumps appear on it or a lump on back of neck near spine, or usually on the neck nape.

The bumps are parked near each other, and they are a vast number but in tiny proportions. It is usually seen in people with darker complexion instead of light-skinned people. This condition can usually stay for a long time, and it’s harder to get rid of it.

Category B:

Boil or usually named either Furuncle or Carbuncle:

Another infection making lumps is the boil. The boil is a tender or red lump with a lighter coloured hole in it or a lump on back of neck near spine. Smaller boils which look like pea size are called furuncles, and the large ones which are usually a cherry size or bigger are called carbuncles.

These boils usually have pus which they form on their own and is an additional frustration with this condition. A boil is caused when a hair follicle gets infected by bacteria belonging to Staphylococcus species.

Epidermoid Cyst:

Be careful because epidermoid cysts are often wrongly referred to as a sebaceous cyst. But true sebaceous cysts or otherwise called steatocystomas, which can develop from the sebaceous glands are usually really rare.

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Cyst causes large lumps on the back of the neck near the spine, and they can quite often be near the spine. The epidermoid cysts either form on the dermis or the upper skin layers called epidermis.

Usually, the cyst development here is not fast, it has a rather slow motion and is not causing issues. However it has a flashy look when it is inflamed, and it is an irritable feeling followed by pain and tenderness. It usually has a greasy ooze that comes out of it. It is usually treated by a surgeon at a hospital.


Keloids have this weird form and usually grow quite big, and are appearing as raised fleshy plaques. They are an overgrowth with a bad look, and they usually have a scar impersonation, and this is happening because of a wound from surgery or some kind of injury.

It’s happening with individuals who are genetically predisposed to have it, and they usually have darker shades of skin. Keloids might heal with time completely individually, or you can treat it with emollients, surgery removal, steroid injections or some kind of topical treatment.

Skin Cancer:

Skin Cancer is a devastating disease but in some aspects can be treated or even cured. It might create a lump on back of neck near spine, but the lumps are usually looking similar to an ulcer or an infected opening.

The carcinoma which is basal cell is cancer which is occurring as a lump on back of neck near spine but has a higher nodule on exposed areas on the sun; it can also occur on the face as well.

Basal cell carcinoma reacts with the sun and can be found the facial area and on back of the neck near the spine. You can find this on farmers or even fisherman because these people are usually extremely exposed to the sun.

It’s a sort of a tumour which can form ulcers, and it’s usually very extreme on the local area where it partakes, but usually, it doesn’t spread much. You can treat this with various methods such as radiotherapy, ointment, surgery or cryotherapy.

Category C:


In a dynamic life, injuries can be a quite occurring phenomenon. You can experience a bruise which can be a tender lump on back of neck near spine, or you can directly hit yourself, and it can have a different variety of colours such as brown and yellow in mild cases or in more extreme ones it can have violet, blackish, greenish or reddish colours.

This can also happen if we’re reckless sleepers and injure ourselves while sleeping with someone or if we’re non-observant of our surrounding.

Swollen Lymph Nodes:

A swollen lymph node can create a lump on back of neck near spine or below the ear or either a bump at the base of the neck and is caused by a tick bite. It usually looks like a dark spot behind the ear and the insect is sucking the blood and sticking to the place where is attacked.

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One cause that is usually occurring is a swollen lymph node on the back of the neck near the spine, and it’s due to an infection having a fungal or bacterial background. Or it can happen because of a head or neck infection, a systemic viral infection and this is common with kids.

It can be found at the skull base or even at the hairline, and it can be developed after few days from the start of the infection. It’s usually having red skin or sometimes even a normal skin making it harder to detect it. It might be so painful, but there are cases where it’s painless as well, and it’s usually with defined lines where you can easily spot it, but it doesn’t have any openings.


Lipoma is a large lump on the back of the neck or a bump at the base of the neck. It’s usually a fat tumour, and it’s growing so slow. And it’s painless, and it is movable under the skin also soft, and it doesn’t look abnormal. You can remove this with surgery only.

Buffalo Hump:

Buffalo hump looks like a big soft lump on back of neck near spine or a bump at the base of the neck, and it’s a side effect of highly active antiretroviral therapy in short called the HAART or is occurring with the HIV/AIDS virus.

It’s occurring due to the Cushing’s syndrome or with the increasing release of cortisol. It can also occur from other various conditions such as steroid intake and treatments with it. It can be removed with surgery because it’s fat in a large quantity.

Congenital Abnormalities in Children:

Cervical meningocele at the back of the neck is occurring in small children and is a lump on back of neck near the spine. Meningocele is an abnormality in the spinal cord and it’s looking like a sac filled with fluid and can go over 10 cm. Cystic hygroma is usually a congenital abnormality which is common with children.

Category D:

Muscle Knot:

The muscle is not in a gem sized or a pea size nodule with a rubbery sensation, and it is topped with original skin. It’s caused by bad posture or neck which is usually held forward, and it can damage the herniated dick. You can feel one with your fingers and can be treated differently starting with massages and other ongoing more serious therapies.

Osteophyte or Bone Spur:

A bone spur is found in the neck middle, and it’s a small vertical line containing fixed and harsh lumps for the touch. It’s sort of overgrown lump on back of neck near spine or overgrown bone tissue.

It’s usually caused by osteoarthritis, injuries or spondylosis. On their own, they are not showcasing any symptoms, and it’s hard to detect them but if they develop and press the spinal nerve that is usually painful and it’s numbing the neck, and the upper area including the arms and the shoulders. They are followed by stiffness, pain, swelling etc.

A lymph node which is cancerous:

The cancerous lymph node is hard as stone to touch and it’s forming these lumps which are immobile around the hairline, and they are usually cancerous. They can be spreading due to cancer which is developing at the back of the neck, next to the scalp etc.


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