Lymph Node Pain - Symptoms for Better Diagnosis

Updated on 15 Jun 2009,
Published on 15 Jun 2009

Lymph nodes are a crucial part of the body’s immune system. They help in filtering and draining out the bacteria and viruses from the body. The lymph nodes are a part of the lymphatic system and are located throughout the body. Of all the lymph nodes that are present in the body, the largest are those located in the under arms, groins and neck. Lymph nodes are the nodes where the body meets the bacteria, viruses or even cancer cells to fight against it. The body produces antibodies to get rid of these foreign objects. And as a result of these reactions, the nodes are sometimes infected or inflamed.

To determine whether you should see a doctor or not depends on the severity of the inflammation and the symptoms that accompany the pain. Following are some of the symptoms of a painful node that indicates the sign of a serious illness and a doctor must be consulted to diagnose it:

1) Feel the painful lymph nodes to see if it is soft or hard to touch. If it is hard to touch then probably it is time to consult a doctor as a hard lymph node is an indication of the node’s losing the battle.

2) Take a rough measurement of the lymph nodes, if the size exceeds beyond 1 centimeter then it is the sign of serious illness which needs immediate medical attention.

3) If the skin over the swollen lymph is red or pink in color, then it is an indication that the infection is beyond the control of your body and thus requires medical assistance.

4) Fever, fatigue, tiredness, weight loss, night sweats etc are some of the symptoms that you should watch out for. If any of these symptoms accompanies the pain then the need for consulting a doctor becomes a primary importance.

Swollen lymph and lymph pain do not always indicate the onset of serious illness. They may be the symptom of a viral or bacterial infection which might go away on its own. You can check yourself to a certain limit to know whether the nodes requires medical attention or not. Keep a track of the occurrence of the pain and the size of the lymph node. If the pain starts suddenly and the size is lesser than 1 centimeter, then probably it is due to an infection and not a serious illness.

Suggested Reading:
diagnosis of lymph nodes
lymph nodes cancer - hodgkin's disease
locations of lymph nodes

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