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Date of last update: 10/21/2017.

Forum Name: Lymphoma

Question: painful but not swollen lymph nodes

 serenity86 - Fri Aug 29, 2008 11:42 pm

Hi it has been a couple weeks now and i noticed sharp pain coming and going from my lymph nodes. Their not swollen but throughout the day i feel sharp pain for about 2-10 seconds under my jaw line, under my ear, under my arm, my right breast, throughout my abdomen, and the inner part of my left leg. It doesn't happen all at once. It's random. The pain i would say from a rate of 1-10 ranges from a 2 - 9. What could this mean? The only medical issue i have is that im anemic and my wbc is a little low (3.2 ranges to 3.7) My doctor said that it could be normal or genetic. should i be worrying?
 John Kenyon, CNA - Mon Sep 08, 2008 1:10 am

User avatar Hello -

While you do describe the locations of many random lymph node sites, I'm wondering how it is that your'e certain this pain is actually originating in the lymph nodes. It is extremely unusual (certainly not impossible, but quite unusual) to have widespread lymph node pain without any swelling. Are the sites tender to the touch? Can you palpate the actual lymph nodes or are you going by the location of the pains? It is extremely difficult to pin this down, and I'm wondering if the pain isn't actually coming from another, unrelated source (such as nerve pain of polyneuritis), since the symptoms don't fit any disorder I'm aware of. Also, the random and fleeting nature of the pains suggest nerve involvement rather than lymph nodes.

If you have some history you've neglected to include in your post that might help unravel this mystery. Please follow up with us here. Best of luck to you.
 serenity86 - Fri Sep 12, 2008 11:32 pm

Actually I am not sure if the pain is from my lymph nodes. I just guessed that it might be because of the locations of the pain. No, my lymph nodes are not tender to the touch. I can feel the ones on y neck and jaw line but their really small and not really painful when i touch them. I now also have bone pain but i don't know if that relates to any of this or something else. It's like a really bad dull pain in my arms and legs that happens throughout the day. lasting from 1-20 min. And i'm also starting to feel the pinching kind of pain on my cheeks too. I went to a doctor and he thought it was strange too. He told me that nerve pain is usually a burning pain not a pinching pain. He also said that I might have chronic fatigue syndrome. I'm now more confused than ever. I'm pretty certain that the pain i'm feeling is real. I don't know if i should just ignore the pain or keep trying.

i'm 22, 5 ft tall, and weigh about 117. I just found out that i'm anemic also. And I've always had problems with being tired
 John Kenyon, CNA - Sat Sep 13, 2008 11:24 am

User avatar Hi there -

This now sounds a lot less like a lymph system problem and more like something more obscure. It's true, nerve pain usually has a burning (or sometimes stabbing) quality, rarely pinching. With pain in the extremities as well as the original pain, plus anemia, I'd hope by now your doctor has done at least the most basic blood tests (CBC, basic metabolic panel or BMP, etc.) and will follow this situation.

I'm sure your pain is real, as pain is almost always real, even though it may be "phantom", exaggerated (by the body, not the patient, although perception does play a role also), or even inappropriate and therefor quite confusing. This latter may be the case with you, but the anemia factor makes me wonder if there might not be something more arcane going on. Whether it progresses, resolves, or a cause is found in the meantime, your doctor should be continuing the detective work for now.

One question: have you tried non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofin or naproxyn (Advil, Aleve) for the limb pain? If so, does it respond? This could be telling.

Please follow up here as necessary, and prod your doctor to explore all the possibilities as well. Pain, by itself, is bad enough. The fact that its original purpose was to let us know something is wrong makes finding the cause (or lack of one) all the more important.

Best of luck to you.
 serenity86 - Sun Sep 14, 2008 2:15 pm

yes I have tried ibuprofen for a week. The pain did go away a little bit but i still felt it. Especially along my jaw line, cheeks, and right breast. I described the pain as pinching because of how sharp it was. It's hard to describe the pain. Sometimes i'd think it's like a pin poking me. Thank you so much for responding my posts. I think this is a great website. I have an appointment with my doctor on the 24th. My doctor said that if my wbc was still low he'd send me to a hematologist. Plus now i don't know what he'll tell me about my anemia. Anyways thank you and i'll keep you updated.
 John Kenyon, CNA - Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:19 am

User avatar Definitely something is going on, and you will feel better once you know what it is. We'll be standing by for an update. Thanks for using this site.
 Silly - Mon May 11, 2009 9:18 am

hey serenity,

you ever find out? I too have been experiencing similar symptoms for over a year and have had every test in the book performed but nothing ever came out of it. I also have some bruising but might be because of certain medications I've been taking for sinusitis.

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