Swollen Glands in Neck

Swollen Glands in Neck are very common. Read on and know all about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of this condition.

What are Swollen Glands in Neck?

This is a particular condition in which the glands of the neck suffer an inflammation and get enlarged. This causes pain and discomfort in the throat. This is a common medical syndrome that affects many people across the world.

Swollen Glands in Neck Causes

The condition is caused by enlargement of the lymph nodes located in the neck. Some of the common causes of swollen glands in neck are

  • Ear infections
  • Common cold
  • Fever
  • Tonsil ailments
  • Mononucleosis
  • Gingivitis
  • Goiter
  • Mouth sores
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Skin infections
  • Tuberculosis
  • Metabolic disorders

Inflamed lymph nodes in the neck are also caused due to cancerous conditions such as Lymphoma, Hodgkin ’s disease, Mouth Cancer, Leukemia and Larynx Cancer. It may also result from bacterial infections like Strep Throat and Septicemia, Parasitic Infections, sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and autoimmune disorders like HIV infection.

Dental ailments such as gum disease, dental infections and a rising wisdom tooth can also lead to the enlargement of throat glands.

Swollen Glands in Neck Symptoms

Some of the main symptoms of Swollen Glands in Neck are


The region around the neck and the back of the head suffer an inflammation due to this condition. The enlargement can be experienced simply by touching the area.


The upper area of the chin, the area under the chin and the region below the ears are tender to touch in this disease. There is tenderness in the initial stages which soon gives rise to pain.

Respiratory difficulties

People with this disease also suffer from Upper Respiratory Infection that leads to discomfort in breathing.


In people with Swollen Glands in Neck sore throat is very common. There is pronounced soreness in the throat which causes extreme difficulties while swallowing food.


In some cases of swollen lymph glands in neck rashes appear on the body of sufferers.

High fever

In people who have lymph glands in neck swollen there is often an increase in body temperature.


The area of the neck where lymph node gets enlarged turns red in appearance.

Swollen Glands in Neck Diagnosis

This medical condition is mainly diagnosed by physical observation and tests. Doctors make a preliminary diagnosis by touching the inflamed throat region and by asking the patient about the symptoms. The sufferer is also asked about his or her medical history which is taken into account for a proper diagnosis of the disorder. For swollen glands in neck remedy depends a lot on proper diagnosis of the condition.

Doctor’s also ask patients about their sexual activities, number of partners and any vaccines and medicines that they have used recently. Physical relation with multiple partners makes people susceptible to parasitic infections and autoimmune disorders.

Diagnostic tests for this condition involve X-rays and blood tests. If doctors suspect a malignant condition medical scans may be carried out. MRI and CT scans may be conducted on patients suspected of malignancy.

Swollen Glands in Neck Treatment

There is no specific treatment for swollen glands in neck. Swollen Glands in Neck cure actually involves treating the underlying cause of the condition. The aim of treatment is to decrease swelling of the glands and reduce the pain.

If viral infection is the cause of swollen glands in neck, curing it will help reduce the enlargement gradually. If bacterial infection is responsible for causing the disease, antibiotics may be used to reduce the symptoms and cure the condition. Painkillers such as Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen are generally used to reduce pain in sufferers.

Enlarged glands caused by goiter (abnormally inflamed thyroid gland) are usually treated with iodine. Goiter mainly arises from a lack of iodine in the body.

Swollen Glands in Neck Home Remedy

For patients of swollen glands in neck remedies can be any of the following.

Castor Oil

Massage the enlarged area of the neck with castor oil. Massage the region with your fingers in gentle circular motion. This will improve blood circulation in the area. Doing this for two to three times every day will help reduce the inflammation in a few days.

Warm compress

Warm heating pads and press them against the inflamed area of your neck. You may also use a washcloth compress. Soak a clean washcloth into a bowl of hot water. Squeeze the cloth to remove the excess water. Press the warm cloth over your enlarged neck area. Repeat the process for three to four times every day for a week or two. Applying warmth will reduce inflammation and tenderness in the area. It will also help drain out the fluid collected in the lymph nodes of the throat.

Improve your diet

Incorporate Selenium supplements, apple cidar vinegar and Zinc in your diet. You should also include foods rich in Vitamin C such as broccoli, cabbage and tomatoes into your meals. These foods and minerals help boost the natural immune system of the body. This makes the body capable of combating infections which is often a cause of swollen glands in neck.


Having enough rest boosts the natural immune system of the body and provides cells with the power to repair and heal itself. If you have swollen neck glands, you should try to cut down on your daily activities and take as much rest as possible. Adequate rest will also give you relief from stress caused by daily activities as well as discomfort from the condition.

Saline water gargle

Add half tsp salt into one glass of warm water and stir to mix it well. Gargle for four times every day with this solution. This will help reduce the extent of inflammation and irritation in your throat.

Warm water

Drink about eight glasses of warm water daily. Warmth helps flush out toxins and also removes lymph node fluids from the human body.

Drink ginger tea

Consume ginger tea or juice. This will reduce enlargement of the glands. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that help fight swelling of glands. It cures Tonsillitis and sore throat that often lead to the development of swollen neck glands.

For swollen glands in neck home treatment can be quite effective as a remedy. However, home remedies can effectively cure only mild swellings caused by benign conditions like cold and fever. Swollen neck glands resulting from malignant disorders are impossible to treat with home remedies. However, home treatment may be able to provide minor relief from symptoms like pain and throat irritation caused by cancerous conditions.

What Do Swollen Glands in Neck Feel Like?

A swollen neck gland feels like a small, raised bump. These are usually the size of a pea or a little larger. These are generally red in appearance and tender to touch in the initial stages. There is intense pain in the region afterwards. The pain increases while swallowing foods and liquids or when the inflamed area is touched by hands.

Prolonged Swollen Glands in Neck

Swollen neck glands that persist for a long time are known as chronic swollen glands in neck. Persisting inflammation of neck glands may be a sign of spinal disarrangement. It may also arise if the patient suffers from any type of allergy. In worse cases, chronic swollen neck glands may be a sign of cancers such as Leukemia and Lymphoma.

Swollen Glands in Neck and Rash

In some cases, rashes on neck may also cause inflammation of neck glands. Autoimmune disorders like Discoid Lupus Erythematosus (DLE) can lead to the development of red rashes on the neck along with inflammation of glands. In this condition, reddish scaly patches not only develop on the neck but also in many other parts of the body such as face, scalp and ears.

Swollen Glands in Neck and Cancer

Swollen neck glands can be the result of many cancerous conditions. In some cases, inflammation of neck glands may occur due to Hodgkin’s Disease, oral cancer, Leukemia and cancer in the larynx.

How Long Do Swollen Glands in Neck Last?

With effective treatment, the condition takes about two weeks to go away. But in complicated cases, the disease may be difficult to resolve easily. Doctors need to carry out more powerful treatment to cure the disease in such cases.

Swollen Glands in Neck in Children

Swollen neck glands in children are usually caused by diseases like

  • Viral infections
  • Medicinal side effects
  • Ski injuries
  • Tumor
  • Arthritis
  • Ear infections
  • Bacterial infection

In children, swollen neck glands are usually accompanied by other symptoms like sore throat, fever, runny nose and redness of the inflamed area. Treatment of the disease in children is done by curing the underlying condition. A healthy diet with rich dose of Vitamin C and plenty of water are also helpful in curing the disease. Parents should not try over the counter medications on their children. Doing this may invite other serious ailments. Drugs such as aspirin can invite Reye’s syndrome in children.

It is important to carry out the treatment of swollen neck glands if the condition refuses to improve even after a week. If swollen gland arises with other complications like respiratory difficulties, high fever, weight loss and night sweat, you should get in touch with your doctor immediately. Early diagnosis and treatment will help you evade many discomforting complications and even cancer.

One Response

  1. Eric September 14, 2011

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