Causes and Treatment for Painful Swollen Lymph Node in Leg

Lymph nodes are part of the lymphatic system. They are tiny glands distributed all over the body and they are linked to the lymphatic vessels which carry the lymph fluid. Lymph nodes are usually found in clusters. The main function of the lymph node is to trap, filter and eliminate the dead organisms such as bacteria and viruses, and other dead tissues from the lymphatic fluid.

Lymph nodes get swollen and inflamed due to bacterial and viral infection. They also swell in cancer. Clinically lymph nodes are very important in staging of cancer, determining its prognosis and treatment. In normal condition the size of lymph nodes is about 1 cm or less than that. They get swollen due to infection or a tumor. Common areas where you may notice swollen lymph nodes are in the neck, armpits, and groin area of the leg. There are various causes of swollen lymph node in leg. Infection such as an abscess or a boil can cause the lymph nodes to swell in the groin area of the infected leg.

An insect bite in the leg can also cause swollen lymph nodes in the leg. One of the most important causes for swollen lymph nodes in the leg is a condition called Elphantiasis. In this condition the leg gets swollen due to the blockage of the lymph in the glands. The disease that causes this condition is called filariasis which is spread by mosquito bite. Cancers such as lymphomas and leukemia can also cause swollen lymph nodes in the leg. Wounds and skin infection on the leg are other reasons for swollen lymph nodes in the leg. Cellulitis in the leg can cause pain and swelling of lymph node in the groin area as the lymph is drained in those glands.

Treatment of Swollen Lymph Node in Leg

Treatment of swollen lymph nodes in leg depends on the underlying cause. Bacterial infection can be treated with antibacterial agents, while viral infection usually goes away of its own.

In case if cancer is suspected biopsy of the lymph node will clutch the diagnosis.

If the swollen lymph nodes are painful and tender you might get relief from following;

  • Apply warm wet cloth compress to the painful lymph node.
  • Elevation of leg will also help to reduce the swelling in case of cellulitis of the leg.
  • Since many lymphatic vessels are just below the skin, massage therapy can stimulate the flow of lymph and reduce the swelling of lymph nodes.
  • A localized abscess in the leg has to be drained and the infected material removed. The swelling in the lymph nodes will gradually decrease.
  • If cancer is detected, chemotherapy or surgery or radiation may be needed as per the doctor’s advice.
  • Certain underlying cause of swollen lymph nodes in the leg can be treated with holistic treatments. Homeopathic medicines and herbal medicines act well in improving the immunity and overall health. They reduce the inflammation and encourage the repair of damaged tissues.

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