Learn About Lymph Nodes in the Neck Area

Updated on 15 Jun 2009,
Published on 15 Jun 2009

Lymph nodes in the neck area can be located quite easily with a touch as they tend to swell up if an inflammation takes place. And as a result of which we are much more familiar with these nodes. In particular there are a number of nodes located in the area between the head and the neck. But here we are more concerned with those located in the neck area only. But before we directly jump into the lymph nodes located in the neck area, it would be wise to get to know about lymph glands and its function very briefly.

Lymph nodes which is also known as lymph glands are bean like glands that form apart of the lymphatic system and assist the body in battling with unwanted organisms. Its main function is to filter the bacteria, viruses and other dead cells from the blood vessels and to eliminate them from the body. About 500-700 lymph nodes are found throughout the body.

Though the lymph nodes located in the neck area can be categorized into 6 groups namely:

1) Submental and submandibular nodes

2) Upper jugulodigastric group

3) Middle jugular nodes that drain the naso- and oropharynx, oral cavity, hypopharynx, larynx.

4) Inferior jugular nodes that drain the hypopharynx, subglottic larynx, thyroid and esophagus.

5)  Posterior triangle group
 
6) Anterior compartment group

But to brief up the details, the lymph nodes are grouped into two categories namely:

1) Anterior cervical lymph nodes: These are located deep inside the back of the neck that helps in bending and flexing the head. These lymph nodes assist in draining the internal structures of throat, tonsils and thyroid gland as well.

2) The posterior cervical lymph nodes: These nodes extend in a line along the back of the neck but in front of the largest muscle found in this area. It extends from the middle of the head to the shoulder bone. When you suffer from sinusitis, the doctors check these glands in particular as it becomes enlarged during respiratory infections.

The tonsillar lymph nodes are located just beneath largest and strongest bone of the face and helps in draining the tonsils and the back part of the pharynx. The sub mandibular lymph nodes drain any part of the floor of the mouth which may become infected. The sub mental lymph nodes drain any part of the oral cavity.

The supraclavicular lymph nodes that are found in the hollow space right above the collar bone helps in draining the chest and stomach when infected by bacteria. Thus it is truly interesting to understand how the immune system of our body works to help the body fight against various unwanted foreign agents.

Suggested Reading:
Swollen lymph nodes
causes of swollen lymph nodes
location of lymph nodes

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