Your neck/throat is sore, your head hurts, and you feel definitely miserable. Upon hearing this, the first thing your healthcare carrier will most likely do is check for swollen lymph nodes, or “neck feels sore and swollen”, or “swollen glands.”
Swollen glands in your neck are a sign that your body is battling an infection or another type of health problem. Read on to learn more about a few of the conditions that can cause swollen glands, and learn what to do if you have among them.
What Are Lymph Nodes?
Your lymph nodes are small, round, or bean-shaped masses of tissue discovered throughout your body. They belong to your body immune system– more particularly the lymphatic system– that helps your body fight infection and disease. As lymphatic fluid travels through the body, immune cells (called lymphocytes) in the lymph nodes trap bacteria, viruses, and other potentially harmful substances and destroy them to help prevent their spread. They also keep fluid balance in check.
You’re probably already familiar with the lymph nodes in your neck, but there are numerous other lymph nodes spread throughout your body. Other areas where you might have the ability to feel swollen lymph nodes include:
- Behind the ears
- Under the jaw
- Lower part of the back of the head
The tonsils in the back of the throat are also a sort of lymph tissue, and they can swell from illnesses such as tonsillitis.
My Neck Feels Swollen and Sore
Generally you should not be able to feel your lymph nodes. They determine just about a half-inch throughout. When you get ill they can swell – often to 2 to 3 times their typical size– to the point where you can noticeably feel them.
Other symptoms of swollen neck include:
- Tenderness or pain when you press on them
- Symptoms of the hidden infection such as fever, sore throat, and mouth sores
- Red, warm, swollen skin over the lymph node
Swollen lymph nodes that are softer, tender, and move quickly are normally a sign of infection or inflammation. A hard lymph node that does stagnate and does not cause pain requires further examination by your health care service provider.
What Causes My Neck Feels Swollen and Sore?
The most common causes of swollen and sore neck are include:
- Bacterial infection such as strep throat or tonsillitis
- Mouth sores or tooth infection
- Viral infection such as mononucleosis or “mono”.
- Skin infection.
- Ear infection.
- Sexually transmitted disease.
- Cancers such as leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and breast cancer.
- Body immune system conditions such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and HIV infection.
- Side effect from a vaccine or from certain medications.
Swollen Gland Treatments
As soon as the underlying health problem has been treated, the glands must return to their normal size. Treatment of swollen glands depends on what’s causing them.
To relieve the discomfort of swollen glands and the illnesses that cause them, the following home care approaches may help:
- Take over the counter pain relievers such as Tylenol or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Advil, Motrin, or Aleve. Never ever give aspirin to a child due to the fact that of the risk for Reye’s syndrome.
- Use a warm, wet washcloth to the area.
- Get enough rest so that your body can recover from the disease.
Call your health care provider if your swollen neck are accompanied by:
- High fever (over 104 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Problem breathing.
- Difficulty swallowing.
- Night sweats.
- Weight loss.
- Skin overlying the swollen lymph node is red.
Also, call your health care service provider if the swollen lymph node’s size becomes bigger than 1 inch, the lymph node is extremely tender or hard or the swelling doesn’t go away after a month.