Home Bones, Joints and MusclesNeck injuries and diseases Balls in the neck from stress: causes and treatment

Balls in the neck from stress: causes and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Have you ever noticed the presence of balls on your neck that you have no idea why they are there? If the answer is yes, rest assured! You are not the only person who suffers from it. These days this can happen very frequently, especially when you lead a very hectic life or are subjected to stressful situations.

Keep in mind that these injuries are not only evidenced by stress. They can also appear due to poor posture when sleeping or exercising. This alteration must be treated in the time since this will prevent it from becoming chronic. The pain that arises from the balls in the neck is due to the affected muscle swelling and hardening, thus forming a lump in the neck. These injuries can also be seen in other places, such as the back or shoulders.

In this FastlyHealarticle, you can learn more about Stress Balls in the neck: causes and treatment.

Effects of stress on the body

Stress is not a condition that is limited to generating psychological alterations. It also impacts a physical level, capable of triggering the appearance of injuries in the body. These disappear to the extent that you can control the tensions you are subjected to.

On several occasions, overwhelm exceeds our ability to face or prevent emotions from dominating the emotional part and affecting the body, generating physical damage, which puts daily activities at risk. People who are subjected to a high degree of stress in their lives are often seen the presence of balls in the neck due to pressure, even if they already suffer from chronic problems such as:

  • Sleep disorders.
  • Fatigue.
  • Depression.

Stress can generate many damages and consequences, but they can be solved thanks to its management and control of emotions. Next, you will know each of the causes that can cause the appearance of lumps in the neck due to stress.

Muscle tension

The first cause of neck stress balls is caused by muscle tension. The tension that accumulates in the neck muscles can create the presence of very painful lumps or balls after continuous exposure to emotions or forced and repetitive labor that generates both nervousness and extreme fatigue.

This muscle tension can cause, in addition to lumps in the neck due to stress:

  • Headache, emotional or pressure.
  • Chronic muscle ailments.
  • Muscle contracture.
  • Cramps in the neck.
  • Muscle spasms.
  • Discomfort in shoulders and back.


In this case, relaxation techniques are a great way to relieve stress. Depending on the severity of the bodily symptoms, a drug treatment such as pain relievers or anti-inflammatories will be necessary to alleviate pain and inflammation in the neck region.

You can read more information about this cause of neck balls in Muscle tension: how to relieve it?

Muscle contractions in the neck

Emotional stress can generate sustained muscle contractures, causing muscles to tighten and allowing lumps to emerge from the neck and other parts of the body. This frequently occurs in those people who spend many hours in front of a computer or perform repetitive work with a nervous tension that affects the neck and shoulders area.


Some indications in the treatment of muscle contractures in the neck are:

  • The practice of deep abdominal breathing techniques and relaxing body massages that eliminate lumps and relax the muscles of the neck are an excellent option to alleviate this ailment.
  • Stretching exercises, hot and cold therapies, and rest will help relax the muscles in the neck region.
  • This can be accompanied by drug treatment such as pain relievers and anti-inflammatories to relieve both pain and inflammation.

Next, you can refer to the article Exercises to relieve neck and shoulder pain.

Muscle knots

Muscle knots, also known as balls or lumps, can appear in the neck and back muscles and are characterized by being very painful. These are produced by the accumulation of lactic acid, specifically when the power is too tight.

The tensions produced by chronic depressive ailments, insomnia, or fatigue with a high degree of stress give rise to these lumps in the neck due to pressure.


Once the presence of muscle knots caused by stress has been detected, the most recommended is the application of therapeutic massages to relieve pain. It is possible to stretch and relax the contracted muscle fibers with this. At the same time, an anti-inflammatory effect is obtained.

Myofascial trigger points

They are areas of hyperexcitability, and the balls in the neck appear in the muscles as a result of a contraction, in some cases due to being subjected to continuous stress. These lumps tend to be very tender so they can get worse as stress increases.


The treatment of these trigger points is carried out through physiotherapy, that is, through manual therapy using:

  • Digital pressure at the trigger point.
  • Decontracting massages.
  • Stretching exercises.
  • Relaxation.
  • Cryotherapy.
  • Application of local cold in the area.


Torticollis is caused by a severe muscle contraction on one side of the neck, which may appear due to a poor sleeping position or being subjected to sustained stress. Depending on the degree of the contracture, it can generate the appearance of lumps in the neck due to pressure. This injury causes severe pain and the inability to move the neck.


In this case, the treatment is the local heat through relaxing massages and exercises for stiff neck. Also, hand in hand with analgesic or anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve muscle contracture.

You may be interested in the article: What is the best posture to sleep.

Chronic myofascial pain

It is chronic pain due to the pressure exerted on the sensitive points in the neck muscles, which are aggravated by being subjected to muscular tension produced by stress. This generates the appearance of balls or lumps on the neck.


The therapeutic indications are aimed at physiotherapy and injections in pain points with analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs. Relaxation techniques are also part of this treatment to control stress more effectively.

Swollen lymph node

A large number of lymph nodes are found in the neck and head. For this reason, inflammation of a lymph node at the neck level influenced by stress is a manifestation that occurs frequently. This happens because stress directly affects the immune system.

Lymph node swelling from stress can be accompanied by other symptoms such as:

  • Swelling in the neck.
  • Pain in the neck.
  • Anxiety.
  • Insomnia.


To alleviate this alteration, you should follow the following advice that your doctor will surely give you:

  • Controlling stress.
  • Make changes in your lifestyle.
  • Practice some physical exercise with which you feel comfortable.
  • Restful rest between your work activity and your daily activity.
  • Pharmacological treatment such as analgesics or anti-inflammatories.

If you present balls in the neck due to stress, follow the recommendations of your doctor and your physiotherapist. In this way, you will be able to control pressure by making the lumps in the neck disappear.

This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Stress Balls in the Neck: Causes and Treatment, we recommend that you enter our Bones, Joints, and Muscles category.

You may also like

Leave a Comment