What Are Some Causes of a Knot at the Base of the Skull?

A knot at the base of the skull may be caused by an awkward workspace, poor working posture or falling asleep in an uncomfortable place, according to Cleveland Clinic. Mental stress may also cause muscle tension that manifests in tight knots at the base of the skull.

Sitting in an awkward position for too long, hunching over a computer keyboard, or playing golf may affect the neck, shoulders or back and cause trigger points, states Cleveland Clinic. Trigger points are tight muscle knots that form over the shoulders and in the muscles between the base of the skull and the middle of the back. These knots of muscle fiber do not relax, and pushing them can cause pain to spread throughout the muscle area.

Individuals can relieve knots at the base of their skulls by massaging the trigger points and loosening tight muscles, using anti-inflammatory drugs to ease muscle pain, or partaking in aerobic exercises, states Cleveland Clinic. Using an ice pack or heating pad over the affected area and stretching muscles to increase blood supply often relieve the knots. Correcting body posture or other causes of the knot can also help unwind the affected muscles. Abscess, swollen lymph nodes, sebaceous cysts and lipomas may also cause knots or bumps behind the ears, notes Healthline.