Swollen glands; Glands - swollen; Lymph nodes - swollen; Lymphadenopathy
Soreness in lymph nodes usually disappears in a couple of days without treatment, but the nodes may not return to normal size for several weeks after the infection has cleared. Generally, if they are painful, it is because they swell rapidly in the early stages of fighting an infection.
Call your health care provider if
Call your doctor if:
- Your lymph nodes do not get smaller after several weeks or continue to get larger.
- They are red and tender.
- They feel hard, irregular, or fixed in place.
- You have fever, night sweats, or unexplained weight loss.
- Any node in a child is larger than 1 centimeter (a little less than 1/2 inch) in diameter.
What to expect at your health care provider's office
Your doctor will perform a physical examination, checking all of your palpable lymph nodes for size, texture, warmth, tenderness, and other features.
Your doctor may ask the following medical history questions:
- Which nodes are affected?
- Is the swelling the same on both sides?
- When did the swelling begin?
- How long has it lasted (how many months or weeks)?
- Did it begin suddenly or did it develop gradually?
- Is the swelling increasing in size?
- Are the number of nodes that are swollen increasing?
- Are any of the swollen nodes painful or tender when you gently press on them?
- Is the skin over or around the nodes red?
- Have you had any other symptoms?
The following diagnostic tests may be performed:
- Physical exam
- Blood tests, including
liver function tests, kidney function tests, and CBCwith differential Lymph node biopsy Chest x-ray Liver-spleen scan
Review Date: 05/13/2010
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.