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Sore Neck Glands

This article will talk about the problem of sore neck glands, which can be created due to many factors, from tuberculosis and cancer to sore throat and common cold. We will focus on the causes, symptoms and treatment of this problem. Pain is usually a problem associated with neck moving and this is something experienced during sore neck problem. Many culprits can cause sore throat, like neck glands or sore neck muscles. The problem of the neck gland soreness can be really discomforting and interfere with the chores you have to fulfill during the day. This happens when the inflammation is present, which leads to the neck soreness.

Causes of Sore Neck

The swollen neck lymph nodes are usually responsible if the sore neck is experienced. The body is filled with these lymph nodes, which are basically small movable masses. They are very important for the defense of the human body, since the white blood cells gather in them and as we know, the defense of the body highly depends on the white blood cells. The immune system fights off the infection but after that, some debris remains from the fight and the lymph nodes are responsible for draining this debris. Inflammation and the soreness, if experienced in some areas in the body, may be a result of inflammation of lymph nodes.

Causes for Sore Neck Glands

This problem can be described as common, and it is probably the case since almost 30% of the lymph nodes in the body are found in the neck. As we have mentioned, the causes for the sore neck glands can be caused by some benign or malignant cause. Some of the most common causes are cancer, Hodgkin’s disease, syphilis, dental problems, tuberculosis, ear infection, sinus infection, strep throat, and sore throat. As you can see, some serious problem may be the cause, which is why it is best to consult a professional if you are experiencing sore neck gland problem, especially when followed by fever, swallowing problem or if the problem persists after a week.

Lymph nodes are oval-shaped organs of immune system, distributed throughout the body and linked by lymphatic vessels. The body has about 600 lymph nodes of which approximately 60–70 nodes are situated in the head and neck region. Any abnormality in the size, consistency, and number of lymph nodes is defined as lymphadenopathy, which is caused by the invasion or propagation of either inflammatory or neoplastic cells into the lymph node.
  • Malignancies, infections, autoimmune disorders, iatrogenic, and miscellaneous conditions are regarded as the causes for cervical lymphadenopathy.
  • Lymphadenopathy is broadly classified into localized, generalized, and dermatopathic. According to its duration, it can be acute (2 weeks duration), subacute (4–6 weeks duration) and chronic (does not resolve by 6 weeks duration).
  • Differentiating localized, and generalized lymphadenopathy is very essential for formulating a diagnosis. Thus, a patient reporting with palpable lymph node in the neck is a serious diagnostic and therapeutic problem.
  • Head and neck region is considered as the most common site for lymphadenopathy. Infection is the most common reason for lymphadenopathy of which locoregional infections, tuberculosis, and filariasis are predominant in India.
  • 70.45% of cervical lymphadenopathy is due to tuberculosis, 13.63% due to reactive lymphadenitis, 11.36% cases due to metastases, 4.54% cases due to lymphoma, and 2.27% of cases due to chronic nonspecific lymphadenitis.
  • In a primary care set up, the prevalence of malignancy in a patient with unexplained lymphadenopathy is thought to be quite low, as low as 1.1%. However, in referral centers, the prevalence of malignancy is found to be 40%–60%.
✓ Fact confirmed: Cervical lymphadenopathy: Unwinding the hidden truth Athira Aruna Ramadas, Renju Jose, Beena Varma, and Marina Lazar Chandy; 2017 Jan-Feb


The source of the problem has to be treated in cases of the infection. Some of the treatment methods consist of cold and heat compress, which can decrease the swelling. There are several tests that should be done in order to see which cause is present and which treatment should be conducted. They are X-rays and blood tests. A prompt treatment is needed if the problem is a result of skin infection or strep throat. Antibiotics are effective with all causes of sore neck glands, such as sinus infections. The problem we are talking about is difficult to avoid, but if it is present, the treatment should be prompt, since it can lead to some serious consequences and complications.

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