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Swollen node on neck, hard, sore, back pain, stiff neck, low appetite. Is this a likely viral infection?

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Hi, last week 30 January, 2012, I had a swollen cervical lymph node on the right side of the neck. It is hard and sore. I also had swelling under my ear in the neck where the carotid artery appears to be located. It feels a little like a goose egg. And if I place my fingers over the carotid artery on the right side, it feels like the pulse jumps a bit. Everything on the left side of the neck is fine. I went to see a doctor last week and he ordered some blood test, but cannot fit me in until the middle of next week. I have taken my temperature regularly and have no fever. The right side of the neck is stiff. And today, I started to experience lower back pain. I have been sleep 10 to 12 hours per day, or more since the onset of these symptoms. My appetite has declined, but I am able to eat all the usual foods and consume water. Aside from some gas, I do not feel any other major gastrointestinal issues. Before the symptoms started, I had my upper eyelid on the left side twitch for about a month, but ate some bananas for potassium and that seemed to fix the problem. I also saw my dentist last week who took x-rays and said there was no bacteria present to warrant the infection from the mouth. Is this serious enough that I should book an emergency appointment on Monday 6th February 2012 and request earlier blood tests, or is this likely a viral infection which will go away?
Posted Fri, 20 Apr 2012 in Infections
Answered by Dr. Mahesh Koregol 2 hours later
Thank you for the query.

As I understand from your query there are 2 swellings in you neck region. one is enlarged lymphnode and other is a swelling below right ear.

- Pulsation of carotid artery area is normally felt in all people. Hence dont worry about feeling pulsation. We have to concentrate on the swelling below ear which is important.

- Both of your swellings appear to be enlarged lymph nodes. This could be an infection from just about anything. (throat, ear, nose, tooth, sinus, brain). If it is a lymph gland and its not increasing in size and does not measure more than 1 cm, then I wouldn't worry about it either. Lymph glands are there to defend us against infection. While doing so they increase in size. Sometimes after they have increased in size they remain larger than normal. Since you are feeling pressure symptoms of the swelling in neck, you need to see a doctor as early as possible.

So points to be monitored are:
1. increase in size of the gland
2. increase in number
3. new glands somewhere else.

- The lymph node might get infected & become painful later.

- It could also be parotid gland tumor below ear.

_ In any case get it examined by physician to confirm diagnosis and take appropriate treatment.

Let me know if there are any followup queries. Please accept my answer if no queries.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Swollen node on neck, hard, sore, back pain, stiff neck, low appetite. Is this a likely viral infection? 13 hours later

Just a quick question. I have BUPA private health insurance.

If the NHS doctors detect anything, can you provide me the contact of a good specialist (I suspect ENT) who has a private practice and accepts BUPA insurance?

Many thanks.
Answered by Dr. Mahesh Koregol 33 minutes later

I have no idea about private hospital specialists covering BUPA. Please excuse me on that. I think BUPA office might give you more information on that.If you can get me names of specialists I can advice you on who is the best amongst.

Please accept my answer if no further queries.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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