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Painful lymph nodes without swelling (Page 1)

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Hi

Six months ago I started getting really itchy, then I started getting upper back/lung pain. The itchiness went away, the upper back pain didn't - it got worse and then I got pain in my lymph nodes in my neck and shoulders. I've had a negative chest xray and an ultrasound of my abdomen which showed nothing, also several blood tests, showing some slightly odd results but nothing serious.

The pain is constant in my upper back, and accompanies no previous back problems or injury, the pain in my neck is at the base. There is no swollen lymph nodes that I or a doctor can feel, I also have a chronic cough - kind of high pitched, night sweats and fatigue.

The pain is getting unbearable, I can't cope as painkillers don't help much. My doctor refuses to do anything else, I even went to A&E but they could do nothing as they could feel no swollen nodes.

How can lymph nodes hurt if they not swollen? Also, not sure its relevant but my throat clicks when I swallow. Is there anything that could cause painful but not swollen lymph nodes? Or, as I am very overweight, could they be swollen but not palpable?

Please all help is appreciated. looking
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First Helper Bloodshooter
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replied February 20th, 2009
Any answers yet?
I'm so sorry you're going through all of this, It's so awful to have all of these symptoms and not know what is going on with your body.

I just wanted to let you know that I'm going through a very similar thing, the only difference is that I have no cough. The painful lymph nodes are the worst! I'm currently taking vicodin for the pain but it only helps me emotionally deal with the pain better I think. My nodes aren't swollen either. I did have an ultrasound of my thyroid though and they found a nodule so I'm going to see a specialist next week. Maybe they will biopsy? I'd like some answers and some relief as well.

What does the pain in your lymph nodes feel like? Mine feel like they are being stabbed with a red hot needle, in nodes all over my body. It started in the right side of my neck though.
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replied February 20th, 2009
No answers
Hi, I've no answers yet I'm afraid, and the doctors wont even look at me anymore (i'm imagining it don't you know). But I'm going through a good few days pain wise, apart from my cough. The pain is like a deep burning pain, and sometimes it is just unbearable especially in my upper back, but the doctors wont give me painkillers.

If you have a nodule - you must get it biopsied, not to scare you, but I've done research and its very important they biopsy that ASAP.

Does your pain come and go and get worse and better or is it constant?

How long you been ill for?
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replied February 20th, 2009
re: no answers
Don't you just despise doctors sometimes? I've had a doctor tell me that I was a hypochondriac also. In fact it was the one I was seeing right before this doctor, and he actually listened and found what was wrong with me!

Well I'm being referred to a surgeon so I'm sure they're going to biopsy the nodule. I just hope it's not bad.

The pain comes and goes but it fluctuates a lot throughout the day. So minute by minute is different for me. I've only been feeling the lymph node pain for about 2 weeks, but the pain in my neck has been increasing for about 3 months.
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replied February 21st, 2009
I know, doctors seem to think I would make this up or something! Before this I never went to the doctors.

Thats exactly like my pain, in the morning its ok, by late night I'm almost screaming in pain, its awful, it can fluctuate randomly from about a 2 on the pain scale to a 10 and back. Somedays theres hardly any pain at all.

At least you are getting somewhere now, and even it is bad, thyroid cancer has a 90% cure rate, so its good. Just keep smiling, the way I see it. any diagnosis is better than no diagnosis eh? I just can't imagine another 6 months of this pain and no diagnosis. It would be awful. I've had to self refer to a doctor in hospital, because they refused to even look at me anymore.

Good luck. If you want to email me, I'll send you my email Smile
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replied June 17th, 2009
angryt, was wondering if you had any more insight on your situation. I started having pain along the right side of my abdomen about 6 months ago, ultrasound, blood work didn't detect any issues. Then about a month ago, started having pain/burning both sides of my groin and now in both armpits. I'd even like to know if there's such a thing as a lymphatic system specialists. It seems that the specialty for lymph node issues falls to the area of the body.
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replied September 16th, 2012
I've been having pain in the right side of my abdomen for over a year now. I've been through a battery of tests: colonoscopy, upper endoscopy, blood tests, ultrasound, x-rays, stool examinations, etc. But the doctors haven't found anything. (More than half the tests I listed were done around the time when I first started showing symptoms). For about a month or so, I've been having pain in my lymph nodes in my neck and armpits. I don't know whether to consult the doctor or not.
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replied April 10th, 2014
I've been having the SAME issues for going on 9 months. I'm hoping for a PET scan next week but, did they ever figure it out for you?
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replied June 18th, 2009
no, I'm afraid I can't help you much SFA, I have an appointment with a musco-skeletal doctor this afternoon, because my doctor thought it could be fibromyalgia. He gave me amitryptyline for the pain, and after about three weeks of taking it, it actually started to work, I feel much better on the tablets, but it doesn't give me a diagnosis. It could be fibromyalgia, but there is not much treatment for it.

Just don't give up, keep fighting, just because the tests showed nothing doesn't mean there is nothing wrong, just that they haven't done the right tests.
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replied June 21st, 2009
has anybody gotten any answers about this? i can feel 2 small little nodes or something on my neck in the back but my doctor says they are not enlarged. a nurse who was a lymphoma nurse told me it didn't feel anything like lymphoma. my neck feels swollen, tight and sore. it's on both sides and there's also some swelling that only I can notice. I'm pretty sure they're my lymph nodes, I get knots and sore muscles and this doesn't feel like that. the pain increases with activity and varies from day to day. I have other weird symptoms which I'm not sure are related or not. sometimes my shoulders hurt, or my chest or my arm or leg feels slightly numb. I had horrible sinus problems all winter and finally cut out dairy. that cleared them right up and then this all started happening. drainage problem? my husband thinks i have an auto-immune issue. but what is it? I'm in the process of getting insurance but until then I'd like to know if anyone else has gotten some answers. I've spent literally DAYS on the computer and I'm driving myself insane. Now I'm fretting over squamous cell carcinoma. There has to be a less menacing explanation....
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replied June 22nd, 2009
lulia77 I can't say I'm sure, but I'd say you don't have the symptoms of carcinoma. It sounds to be like residual allergies, it can take a while for your body to get back to normal after allergies. Sometimes only you can feel things because you know your body better, but if you had auto-immune you'd have other symptoms, like fatigue, a cough, etc. The more you drive yourself insane looking on the net the worse it will, I speak from experience here.

What do they nodes feel like on your neck? Soft, hard, rubbery, stony? If they are hurting its not likely lymphoma, as that is generally painless. Try and relax, I have been ill all year, i've learnt you have to let it go.
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replied June 22nd, 2009
they don't feel stony. I'm not sure if they are rubbery or soft. my doctor has felt them 3 times and was never concerned about their consistency. I've let the lymphoma thing go but then I read about neck cancer and how it can spread to your lymph nodes and that can cause pain. Odds are in my favor that it's nothing that serious, especially since I'm not an older heaving drinking/smoking man. It just drives me crazy to feel a way I've never felt before and have no explanation. It's been this way for 2 1/2 months. I guess allergies can last a while if that's what it is. But then I don't really get any other allergy type symptoms... You are absolutely right about the internet. It's just that doctors are so useless most of the time unless your problem is textbook symptomatic. I've learned that I need to be proactive if I want anything to be resolved. Of course I'm also a bit of a hypochondriac and obsessed with the idea of having something horrible and not catching it early enough. You are right I really do need to relax I am driving everyone I know (especially myself)crazy.Did you never get any answers about your problems? did you have any tests run or anything? thank you so much for your reply. It's nice to vent to someone who's having the same concerns and isn't sick to death of my whining Sad
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replied June 23rd, 2009
lol, no problem, I know what its like, the doctors have been useless with me, and the specialist said "sometimes these things happen, you just have to live with it!" great eh? Well with your nodes, if cancer had spread the nodes would be hard like bone, if it was lymphoma they would be hardish and rubbery, if they are soft, then its usually 'reactive' - to a virus, allergies etc. Try and find a trigger, that makes the pain worse. For me its caffeine and alcohol (not that I drink more than twice a year).

Everyone is sick to death of my complaints of pain and exhaustion, so I know its difficult. If it gets worse, insist on tests, like a CT scan, that will show any enlarged nodes in your body.
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Users who thank angryt for this post: goldenguy55 

replied July 14th, 2009
Hey guys I've been searching the internet for very similar symptoms. I have lymph node pain (or at least that's where I think it's coming from) very little in the morning but it seems as the day progresses it gets slightly worse. None of the pain is unbearable, however I know it is there which concerns me. My lymphnodes do not feel swollen, just intermittent spurts of pain. This is the only symptom I have. Last week I had some fluid in my ear which made me think I had an ear infection which led to my painful lymphnodes, but that was 7 days ago and they really don't feel much better. To make things worse, I'm on vacation for the next two weeks which really ruins the mood considering this is all I can think about. It is promising though to read your stories about how your doctors do not think it is cancer. I am a 20 year old college student with no medical history other than having been diagnosed with a compressed disc in my lower back last year. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated! Thank you
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replied July 16th, 2009
Hi goldenguy

I would say you probably have an underlying ear infection, get to a doctor and get some antibiotics, also consider where you are on vacation...tick bites? Mosquitoes? Could be just a virus. Good Luck
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replied July 16th, 2009
Thank you angryt for your follow-up. The painful lymph nodes actually occurred while I was still at home. They have not been too painful the last couple days so maybe any underlying infection is clearing up. It was weird though because a lot of the symptoms you all were describing were identical to mine. Another thing I've noticed is that they (the pain) doesn't occur at night! Thanks again for the help and any additional feedback is greatly appreciated.
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replied August 21st, 2009
lymph nodes
hello all
i have been reading all the posts from everyone and i feel much better knowing that its not just me facing these kinda weird symptoms because i have been facing all this from almost one year
It started from the pain in my neck lymph node and now its almost everywhere.. in my neck , groin, armpits, behind the knees. and the pain keeps circulating it can be nothing in the morning and then the pain can go stabbing by the night.. all the docs think that i normal since the blood tests have been done including HIV a several times and the nodes are not enlarged but i know that the pain is not normal i seriously have no idea what to do im scared to death Sad
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replied September 2nd, 2009
Pain in the nodes
Funny I read this and find comfort in knowing I'm not alone. I've had the strange clicking in my throat when swallowing, the wierd cough and chest pain, and in the last month painful lymph nodes around my collar bone, under my arms and in my belly. I have been diagnosed with an auto-immune disease but this isn't anything close to symptoms I've had in the past. I saw the dr a week ago and he thinks it's just viral...... And not connected. Now that I see others suffer from the same thing I'm thinking it is connected and want answers..... I'm off to find em. Thanks guys.
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replied September 10th, 2009
painful but not swollen - lymph nodes
Trobled T

Guys i also have the same problem. Wenever i wake up, my lymph nodes seem to be fine. But as the day progresses, i start feeling some pain in all of my lymph nodes, i constanly keep on checking them to see if they are swollen but its hardly noticeable, or can i say - they wont even be swollen. This has happened for the past 9 weeks and i once had a nice sweat, i feel as if i have got fatigue and at times whilst asleep, my legs feel numb. I know its a viral infection but at least i am happy that i am not the only one.
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replied September 15th, 2009
Wow! I can't believe there are others like me out there. I've had lymph node pain, but no swelling, since about January. I'm on my 4th doctor, and 4th opinion, and each one doesn't think anything is wrong. But who knows our bodies better than us? The pain started in my right armpit, moved to my left armpit, then onto my groin. No swelling, and ALL blood tests, ultrasounds(2), and mammograms are normal. They say nothing is wrong, but the lymph nodes have to be hurting for some reason, right? Oh, I was just diagnosed with severe allergies too. Maybe that has something to do with it???
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replied September 30th, 2009
Lwells38 what do you mean my auto immune disease? I'm a little confused there?? auto immune disease is AID right?
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replied October 4th, 2009
Painfull lymph nodes but not swollen or bumps found
Hey guys,
same story here. Painfull lymph nodes all over the body( armpits neck groin behind knees chest arms and abs) but none of them are swollen. My doc checked them all even my spleen and liver and nothing is swollen ( I am slim by the way so if they would be swollen I'm pretty sure my Doctor would have noticed them right away)
I had 7 different types of blood tests including HIV ,syphilis, ANA and CBC and all came normal. Urine test came normal too .
I had a chest x- Ray and CT-Scan with contrast and all came normal.
I have no fever (oral temperature range daily is 87.9 - 99.1F ) no loss of weight no night sweat
I had a couple of chills only but I guess that's because I freak out sometimes thinking about this
the only thing I noticed my throat is somewhat red , have a very mild discomfort and just today saw on my left tonsil a tiny white spot. Maybe I have tonsilitis or strep. I'll check with an ENT this week. By the way this is my 3rd week enduring this horrible situation.
Anybody out there with a confirmed diagnosis? The idea of lymphoma just drives me crazy.
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