What Do Lymph Nodes in the Back Indicate?

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Lymph nodes are actually normal structures in our body—do not freak out once you notice them in your neck, underarms, chest or even your groins. These nodes are intended to be there and they react to certain events which occur inside our body. These superficial lymph nodes like all other 500 or so lymph nodes scattered deeply everywhere, may swell. When these superficial nodes swell, they really do make us feel that they are swollen!

What Happens When Lymph Nodes Swell?

A swollen lymph node is definitely painful and so tender that even the slightest touch can make your freak out of pain. One of the places where we can easily palpate for swollen lymph nodes are the underarms, jawline, back of the neck, clavicular area and also our back. But the lymph nodes at our back at less often given attention because first and foremost, they are hard to be palpated by ourselves. Furthermore, they do not swell as often as those nodes located in the aforementioned common sites.

How Lymph Nodes in the Back Swell?

There are different causes of lymph nodes in the back and in determining these causes, there is one important principle to remember when we speak of lymph nodes swelling. The area where the lymph nodes swell are dependent on the area where the actual infection, inflammation or injury is proximate to. Meaning, the lymph nodes near an injured or inflamed area will tend to swell first and more severely than those which are far from the area of affection.

This is the reason why when we have cough and colds, or mumps, or any other upper respiratory tract infections, the nodes which will tend to swell are those in the neck… oftentimes, when the neck lymph nodes are not enough to handle the straining and entrapment, the nodes in the clavicular and axillary area will help them out.

Indications of Lymph Nodes in the Back

A common reason for swollen lymph nodes in the back are sexually transmitted infections. When these infections take place, the nodes adjacent or proximate to the pelvic organs will react, thus these lymph nodes swell. Other causes may be urinary tract infection of all kinds like urethritis, cystitis, ureteritis and nephritis. Muscle or skeletal injuries near the back may also cause these lymph nodes to swell as in wounds or surgical incisions in the back, etc.

In rare cases, cancer or malignancies may cause the swelling of lymph nodes in the back. One common cancer related to lymph nodes is what we call lymphoma. Lymphomas are of two types, the Hodgkin’s and Non-Hodgkin’s type—either of these lymphomas may tend to become fatal, thus immediate treatment and intervention is required.

Lymph nodes in the back are not something which we should take for granted… although swollen lymph nodes can be as common as a common cough or cold, it doesn’t mean these are normal occurrences. The fact that they are swollen means that something is wrong inside our body. Be vigilant and make sure you initiate in having physical checkups with your physician.




  1. cassandra says:

    yes i have alot of limp nodes in my back for about 2 months my appt. is next fri , with my doctor what should i do or what is it. im afraid whatever the outcome is i hope its knot bad.

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