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I have had a lump on the back of my neck for years. Recently I became curious as to what i was and went to my skin doctor. He said it was either a cyst or inflamed lymph node and there was nothing to worry about. A couple days ago I noticed the lump hurt to touch. Then starting yesterday my neck became very sore in the general area eventually branching off to upper back pain and a persistent head ache. Any ideas? should i be worried or did I just sleep on my neck the wrong way?

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Hello. Enlarged lymph node is usually a sign of underlying infection or inflammation which could be close to the neck, for example your throat, tooth or ear. Since you're suggesting occasional earache, you may have ear infection. Back pain combined with headache could also suggest that you may have some sort of inflamed or trapped nerve. Did you have any injuries with your back?
Persistent headache could also mean more serious diseases such as meningitis. Tick or spider bite could be one of the causes (check your body for any bites, especially neck and shoulder area).
I don't want to frighten you but enlarged lymph nodes could also be a sign of more serious diseases such as leukemia or lymphoma. However, taking all symptoms into account, I'm positive that you have inflamed lymph node due to ear infection or a bite. You should make blood test and get a peace of mind.
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