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How can a painful swelling on the neck be treated?

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Practicing since : 2001
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my 13 yr old daughter as a swollen area on the lower back of her head, but above the hairline. Its not very large but it is causing pain on the same side of her neck when she leans forwards or backwards. Se was recently diagnosed with a slight ear infection but in the left ear. She is 4'11" and about 150lbs.
Posted Sat, 5 May 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 25 minutes later

Thanks for writing to us.

The swollen area on the back of her neck is likely to be a swollen lymph node due to the ear infection she is having.

For this, a FNAB (fine needle aspiration biopsy) of the lymph nodes and swollen glands is the best test. FNAB is aspiration of the material of the glands which is done by a fine gauge needle (22 or 25 gauge) and a syringe. This will confirm the diagnosis as swollen neck glands are often caused by an infection, allergic reactions or metabolic diseases.

Usually the lymph nodes take 3-4 weeks after the infection is over to come back to their normal size.

I hope this information has been both informative and helpful for you. If there are additional concerns, I am available for your followups.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: How can a painful swelling on the neck be treated? 2 hours later
I just wanted to double check that this would still be the case with the infected ear on the opposite side of the swollen a?rea
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 2 hours later

Thanks for writing back.
Infected ear on the opposite side can also lead to swelling of lymph nodes on both the sides of neck. The lymphatic drainage communicates to both the sides of the neck. So, in your daughter's case it seems to be a lymph node swelling only.
Sincerely hope it will help.
Wishing you an early recovery.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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