Many dance moves include hip movement, but there was a time during Elvis’ era that hip movement was not allowed on TV. That is no longer true today; the pelvic area is shown on TV and in movies doing a lot more than dancing. There are hundreds of lymph nodes that are constantly doing their dance, which includes filtering and moving lymph throughout the body and there are many that are located in the pelvic area (Other Lymph Node Locations).

The nodes in this area are responsible for the lower region of the torso, hip area, and lower limbs. The organs in the pelvic area and the lower digestive tract are drained into the lumbar lymph (paracaval and Paraaortic) nodes. The genital area drains into the pelvic nodes. Most of them, no matter where they are located, will return to normal size within a few weeks after swelling up. This is not the case when swollen nodes are a symptom of a serious illness, disease, or infection so a healthcare professional should examine the nodes.

Lumbar Nodes Spotlight Dance

All of the 500-700 lymph nodes in the body are connected so that lymph can flow throughout the body to bring nutrients to the cells while removing debris and pathogens. Though the lumbar nodes are part of the big show, they have their spotlight dance. These are the ones that are located deep in the abdominal cavity consisting of both left and right ones.

Left Lumbar (Paraaortic):

  • Lateral aortic
  • Preaortic
  • Postaortic
  • Intermediate lumbar

Right Lumbar:

  • Lateral caval
  • Precaval
  • Postcaval

Since these nodes are located along the aorta in front of the lumbar vertebra when they enlarge it can cause back pain. Lower limbs, perineum, and the abdominal wall are drained by the lumbar nodes. The pelvic ones have their turn in the spotlight; they also provide drainage for the lower part of the body.

Pelvic Nodes Spotlight Dance

The pelvic lymph nodes work with the lumbar nodes to provide drainage for the genitals, bladder, and other organs in the area. STD’s (sexually transmitted diseases) and other infections can cause them to swell. Lower limb problems, diseases, and infections can also cause the nodes to enlarge. The groin area is one of the more common areas to find lymph nodes that are sore and swollen. Some will need to be looked at by a healthcare professional (IMRT allows treatment of pelvic nodes individualized by including sentinel nodes by Kathy Boltz, PhD).

When the Dance Steps Aren’t Followed

Lymph nodes quietly perform their dance of filtering lymph fluid and bringing nutrients to the body in the shadow of other functions. When they aren’t following the dance steps it will be obvious and it may be time to stop the dance and remove them for a biopsy. These are the signs that one may need to be looked at:

  • Firm, fixed nodes
  • Enlarge rapidly
  • Rubbery
  • Accompanied with other symptoms
  • Remain enlarged longer than a few weeks

Enlarged lymph nodes can be a sign of cancer, serious infection like MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), or other disease. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment increases the survival rate of any serious disease. When necessary, a physician may need to do a biopsy.

The Last Dance

Pelvic and lumbar lymph nodes are essential to the immune system and cellular heath of the lower region of the body. The lymph system performs intricate steps as it travels throughout the body allowing each set of nodes to perform their spotlight dance as it all comes together for a magnificent performance.