If you feel that lymph nodes in your neck area are swollen, you should observe them thoroughly as swollen lymph nodes may just be a sign of a minor infection, but they may also indicate a more serious health problem in some cases.
Read the article and find out what the most common causes of swollen posterior cervical lymph nodes are and when you can try to get rid of the problem on your own. Also, learn when a medical treatment is a must.
Where Are Posterior Cervical Lymph Nodes Located
Lymph nodes may be described as glands in the shape of a kidney. They are spread all around our bodies and they are a part of the circulatory system due to the connection by the lymphatic vessel. Lymph nodes play a very important role in our organism because they are responsible for proper working of our immune system.
So called posterior cervical lymph nodes are located just behind your neck and in the cervical area of your spine. As all the other lymph nodes they are a part of your immune system and they help you deal with the infections. For instance, they filter all the dangerous microorganisms or pathogens from your lymphatic system. The state in which your cervical lymph nodes are swollen is called cervical lymphadenopathy in medical terms.
How Do Your Cervical Lymph Nodes Work
The lymphatic system of your body consists of lymphatic tissue, which is in the form of vessels and nodes. The posterior cervical lymph nodes are responsible for the neck area and as all the other lymph nodes they deploy the immune cells and help to drain the lymphatic fluid.
As a result, the lymph nodes often may give your doctor a clue where the infection is located. When there is some infection in your organism, your lymph nodes produce more white blood cells, known as lymphocytes, an that is why they are often swollen then.
Swollen Posterior Cervical Lymph Nodes – Most Common Symptoms
You may not be sure if what you are experiencing is a swollen lymph node or maybe something else. The most common symptoms of swollen posterior cervical lymph nodes are lumps in your neck area. They have a circular or oval shape, but they can differ in size as sometimes they are as small as a half dollar coin while in other cases they are in the size of a thumb. Sometimes, on the other hand, the lump will not be present, but you will simply feel that the area is swollen.
Apart from the swelling or the presence of a lump, you may also sense that the skin area is inflamed. It means that the lymph nodes are tender and warm when you touch them. Also, when they are inflamed, they are also painful and it is a state which usually requires a medical consultation.
If your posterior cervical lymph nodes are swollen, observe your body for some accompanying symptoms. If you have a fever or a sore throat, it is probably just a more serious infection and you will have to take antibiotics to fight it. If your suffer from some other symptoms, consult your doctor as soon as possible as in some cases swollen lymph nodes indicate a serious health problem.
Common Causes of Swollen Posterior Cervical Lymph Nodes
When you feel that your lymph nodes are swollen, it is a sign that our lymphatic vessels are blocked. It usually happens during the infection and once you recover, the lymph nodes come back to their normal size. However, there are cases when the swollen lymph nodes are an indication of a more serious condition or the cause is more difficult to detect. Therefore, if your swollen lymph nodes do not want to come to their healthy size within a week or two, you should consult a doctor.
If you feel that your posterior cervical lymph nodes are swollen, do not panic as in most cases it is just a sign of an infection. In case of these particular lymph nodes the infection probably develops in your neck or head area. In case of infection your lymph nodes are often inflamed, tender, and painful.
Common types of infection which lead to swollen posterior cervical lymph nodes include toxoplasmosis, periodontitis, mononucleosis, cytomegalovirus, rubella, or pharyngitis. However, your lymph nodes may also be swollen even when you have only a common cold. If the symptoms do not relieve within a week, make an appointment at your doctor’s.
2. Autoimmune Disease
Autoimmune diseases are serious conditions, in which your immune system mistakenly treats your own organism as an invader and attacks it. Swollen lymph nodes are a common symptom of the autoimmune diseases. As your own immune system loses its ability to protect your organism, autoimmune diseases are often difficult to treat.