Lymph nodes are a center in the body where infectious foreign bodies and other harmful particles come into contact with the immune system, and it is this point where the lymph nodes play an important part in protecting the body from infections that may result in various diseases and disorders. Swollen lymph nodes in the back refers to the malfunctioning of the lymph nodes in the lower and upper back area. And factors behind this malfunction include:
As already mentioned, the most common cause is infection. This is because when the human body gets an infection due to any foreign particles, the immune system fights back against the infection, and this gives rise to a large number of white blood cells. These white blood cells further result in swelling, not only in the back but also in the lymph nodes in the back of the head. Mononucleosis is also one of the main causes of swollen lymph nodes in the back. This is also a sort of infection, which mainly occurs on account of close contact with the saliva of some other individual.
Other common causes include:
- Sinus infection
- Oral cancer
- Larynx cancer
- Common cold and flu
- Sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis
- Hodgkin's disease
- Gaucher disease
- Non-hodgkin's lymphomas
- Ear sore
- Skin infections
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Symptoms that Accompany Swollen Lymph Nodes
The symptoms of swollen lymph nodes largely depend on the cause and most importantly the region of the body. There can be many different symptoms that are experienced by an individual. However, the most common symptoms experienced in swollen lymph nodes are:
- Sore throat
- Swelling of the limbs and muscles
- High fever
- Runny nose
- Night sweats
- Rapid weight loss
- Slight tenderness in the lymph nodes at the back of the neck, chin and ears
What is the Treatment?
The type of treatment for swollen lymph nodes in the back depends primarily upon its cause. Swollen lymph nodes of size 0.75 inches or nearing 2 cm are generally considered to be normal in adults. However, young children are more prone towards the swelling of lymph nodes, as they can quickly get infected by any foreign particles. This is the reason swollen lymph nodes need to be dealt promptly in their case. If cancer is considered as the probable cause of swollen lymph nodes, then diagnosis can be done with the help of procedures such as an X-ray, biopsy of the lymph nodes, and liver-spleen scan. On a lesser scale, if common cold and flu are the causes, then antibiotics are sufficient to cure the infection, and subsequently get the swollen lymph nodes back to normal.
Swollen lymph nodes are normally a sign of an infection, and go away within a couple of days along with the infection. Even though there is nothing to get unduly worried about, do not overlook or ignore it. One needs to consult a doctor at the earliest to get the root cause diagnosed and relevant treatment administered.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.