One of the most important systems in the human body is the lymphatic system. It is a part of the immune system of the humans. It is made of numerous lymph nodes that can be found throughout the entire body. Lymph nodes are mainly made of white blood cells and thus serve as the filters for viruses, bacteria and other pathogens. Furthermore, lymphatic system carries lymph fluid, nutrients and waste materials and also eliminates dead cells and dead tissues out of the body.
In a human body, there are about 500 to 700 lymph nodes. They can be found in many locations, such as the neck, groin, in the armpits and in many other places of the human body. Because of several reasons, the lymph nodes may swell and become painful. One should know that painful and swollen lymph node is not a disease, but only a sign of some other disorder.
Causes of painful lymph nodes
The most common causes for the occurrence of the painful lymph nodes are viruses and bacteria that cause infections. Since the lymph nodes contain white blood cells, when the body is attracted by any foreign body (such as viruses or bacteria), the lymph nodes start to produce more white blood cells in order to fight against it. Sometimes, it happens that lymph nodes become swollen and painful because of high amount of white blood cells. Another cause for the painful and enlarged lymph nodes is an injury to the area where the lymph nodes are. The painful and swollen lymph nodes in the neck can be caused by a common cold, the flu and sore throat, as well as by ear infections, abscesses under the skin and mononucleosis.
One of the most common reasons responsible for the occurrence of painful and enlarged lymph nodes in the neck and jaw is tonsillitis. Furthermore, leukemia, Hodgkin's disease, and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma usually cause swollen but painless lymph nodes. Other causes that may lead to the appearance of painful lymph nodes are AIDS, lupus and syphilis.
Symptoms of painful lymph nodes
The most obvious symptoms of painful lymph nodes are swelling that can be felt under touch in certain areas. The problematic lymph nodes are usually soft or hard and the pain is not very severe. The people who must cope with this problem of swollen and painful lymph nodes may also experience fever, fatigue and loss of the body weight.