Lymph nodes are oval-shaped glands that are part of the lymphatic system of the human body and their main purpose is to filter bacteria and harmful viruses from the body.

However, some infections may compromise the effectiveness of lymph nodes in fulfilling this purpose as well as cause them to hurt.

Why Would A Lymph Node Be Painful? In most cases, this comes down to the severity of the infections (viral or bacterial) your lymph nodes are fighting off.


In case your lymph nodes are painful, you should take the following measures:

  1. Examine them in different parts of your body such as the neck, mouth and jawbone regularly. If they are larger than one inch in size, that could be a sign of an infection. Therefore, you should consult your doctor.
  2. If pain occurs suddenly in your lymph nodes, establish if the cause is external such as painful pimples. If that is the case, your lymph nodes may be infection-free.
  3. Ensure your doctor informs you, in advance, if any of the medication you are taking for other medical condition may cause swelling or pain in your lymph nodes.


Here are some of ways to determine if painful lymph nodes are a sign of serious illness:

  • Feel your lymph nodes regularly. Since healthy lymph nodes should be soft, hard lymph nodes may be an indication of serious infection.
  • Observe the skin above your lymph nodes regularly. Any discoloration on the skin may indicate that your lymph nodes are unable to control/fight certain body infections.


Here are some of ways to determine if painful lymph nodes are a sign of serious illness:

  • If your lymph nodes are larger than one inch in size, this is an indication that they are swollen. Even if such lymph nodes are not painful yet, you should consult your doctor as soon as possible.
  • If you experience symptoms such as fever, fatigue and sweating in addition to pain or discomfort in your lymph nodes, inform your doctor immediately.



Overall, healthy lymph nodes should not be swollen or painful. If you notice either of these symptoms, you should consult a physician in order to determine if you have an infection in your lymph nodes and if you do, get treatment.