Suffering from tender, enlarged lymph nodes? Do they feel hard and painful? If the answer is yes, then you’re probably suffering from some of the infections that are usually the cause of this and they’re all referred to as lymphadenitis. Lymph nodes, or as some people call them lymph glands, are extremely important part of your immune system which is why their swollenness should not be overlooked as they could be symptoms of lethal diseases such as cancer. The question we will try to answer is whether neck pain is one of the causes for swollen lymph nodes.
What are lymph nodes?
Lymph nodes or lymph glands are small soft structures, round in shape, that are located throughout your body, mainly in the head and neck region. They have their own vessel system through which special watery fluid, lymph, travels. Why are they elemental for our immune system? Because they’re a source of lymphocytes- immune cells that capture and destroy viruses with their proteins.
Discomforts and aches in the neck area are not directly guilty for swollen nodes. However, as the neck is where a lot of these glands are located, stiffness and pain in this part of the body is a warning that something around there is wrong. In the majority of cases, this occurs due to different infections, viruses, fungi, inflammation or cancers that all ‘’gnaw” on your immune system which will, of course, manifest through its important components such as lymph nodes are.
Common cold and swollen nodes in the neck
When you have a runny nose, sore throat and all the other indicators of an infection of your upper respiratory system, you can expect that the lymph glands will be bigger. This is nothing to worry about of course and the swollenness will disappear as soon as you recover.
Cold is the most superficial of all infections that lead to the enlargement of swollen glands. However, there are certain infections that can’t be cured just by having a few days of rest, ‘’vitamin boost’’ and soothing, warm soup. Mononucleosis, chickenpox, measles and HIV are just some of other infections that can make you feel as if you have an egg in your neck.
HIV is probably the gravest condition that resilient to the drugs that previously worked. The cruelest part about this disease is that it could be consequences such as weakness, weight loss, and even dementia.
This is the most common bacterial infection that causes swollen lymph nodes. The symptoms can be seen 5 days after you are exposed to the bacteria. Children from 5-15 are usually suffering from this disease which is spread through coughing and sneezing. Some of the signs include sudden fever, red throat with white patches, headache, chills, loss of weight and troubled swallowing.
Lymph node and tuberculosis
This disease usually attacks your pulmonary system but it could actually affect your glands as well. They’ll usually be swollen and painless. In some cases, the swelling may burst and release yellowish pus that contains tuberculosis bacteria. When this happens patients must keep the wound clean with a dressing. Surgeons won’t practice opening lymph nodes that are swollen due to tuberculosis but sometimes they have to draw out some of the fluid with a syringe in order to detect the origin of swelling.
Syphilis and swollen lymph nodes
Syphilis is another sexually transmitted disease that could cause you swollen lymph nodes. The disease is caused by Treponema Pallidum Bacterium and is characterized by 3 stages. Swollen glands are what you can get in the very first stage along with a chancre – a firm, round, painless sore that appears at the site of infection.
The second stage is when you have rashes on your hands and feet along with hair loss, white patches in your throat and flu-like symptoms. Mind you that swollen nodes can persist even through this period that usually takes place 6 months after the exposure to the bacteria. Thirty years after the exposure to the bacteria the patient will get into the tertiary phase. This is when you’ll probably fall into dementia because the bacteria will attack your brain. However, it could attack other vital organs such as kidneys or eyes.
Inflammation and cancers
When it comes to inflammation it is a very common cause of swollen nodes. Rheumatoid arthritis is just one of the inflammatory conditions that will lead to enlarged glands. Rheumatoid arthritis is an immune system disorder where your own immune cells attack your body tissues and it usually attacks the lining of your joints but in severe cases, it might spread to other parts of your body.
Some sorts of cancers are also a common cause for swollen gland, especially if it affected some area in the neck itself or near your neck. Lymphoma or leukemia are the most frequent cancers that lead to this but metastatic breast or lung cancer could also be the root.