From the Health Library of "Why do I get those big tender knots in my neck?"

cervical lymph-node swelling from a posterior lateral squamouscell head_lymphnodes2

First of all, thank you for the continued reader submissions.
Cervical (that is, neck) lymph nodes (small oval organs located in various parts of the body that help the body fight infections; aka ‘swollen glands’) are the topic of the day.  Cervical adenopathy (aka lymphadenopathy) is the presence of swollen, tender lymph nodes in the neck.  They can represent the following:

  • The body’s response to a primary infection in the neck;
  • The body’s response to a local infection around the neck (such as the ears or throat); and/or
  • The body’s response to diseases widespread throughout the body (such as with mononucleosis, tuberculosis, and other diseases, such as HIV).

Just remember that infections are by far the most common cause of tender lymph nodes in the neck and get them checked if your other symptoms are concerning enough to you.  Of course, you could always contact your personalized health consultant at as well, and we’ll help you work through your concerns.
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