Why Does Your Neck Have Enlarged Lymph Nodes?

Neck region has many superficial lymph nodes that can become enlarged and palpable in variety of disease conditions. Lymph node enlargement is referred to as lymphadenopathy. In some regions of the neck, numerous lymph nodes are aggregated together and these aggregations are given specific names depending upon the location (e.g. submental nodes, submandibular nodes, supraclavicular nodes, cervical nodes, etc.)

The symptom of isolated swollen lymph nodes in the neck region is an example of localized lymphadenopathy. There can also be concomitant swelling of lymph nodes in the different regions of the body (e.g. inguinal region, armpits, neck, etc.) and this is referred to as generalized lymphadenopathy. 

Associated Symptoms of Swollen Lymph Nodes in Neck

Swollen lymph node(s) in neck is a symptom and it can be associated with pain and/or tenderness in the enlarged lymph node(s). There may also be changes in the overlying skin (redness, ulceration, etc.) and the overlying skin may be either mobile or fixed to the enlarged lymph nodes. Swollen lymph nodes may have different consistency depending upon the underlying cause (e.g. soft, rubbery, stony hard, etc.)

There may be other associated symptoms not confined to the region of enlarged lymph nodes. The symptoms will depend upon the exact cause of the condition causing the swollen lymph nodes and are highly variable.

Causes of Swollen Lymph Nodes in Neck

Lymph nodes enlargement usually is caused by an infection or any malignant growth (tumors) in body. Less commonly, disorders of immune system like systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), rheumatoid arthritis, etc. can result in lymph nodes enlargements.

Treatment of Swollen Lymph Nodes in Neck

Treatment of such swollen lymph nodes will depend upon the cause.

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