The inguinal lymph nodes are located just below the inguinal ligament in the upper inner thigh near the pelvis. Medical experts categorize 10 of these nodes as superficial and five as deep inguinal lymph nodes. Just like lymph nodes in any other part of the body, their work is to filter and eliminate bacteria, viruses, and harmful germs that invade the body.
Inguinal lymph nodes may swell and cause a patient great discomfort. According to a report published by the Rhode Island Hospital, patients report experiencing a pain/ache, burning sensation, or pressure in the affected area. In addition, a visible bulge develops over the site of the swelling node. A person is likely to experience these symptoms after undertaking activities that increase abdominal pressure such as lifting heavy objects. Standing for long periods may also cause one to develop these symptoms. It is worth noting that figures published by the National Center for Health Statistics show that five million Americans experience swollen inguinal lymph nodes every year.
It is quite easy to check the groin area for inguinal nodes. Use your hand to feel the chain of nodes that run horizontally below the inguinal ligament. Extend your hand further down the groin area and feel the vertical chain of lymph nodes that run along the upper thigh. These are the areas where you will find inguinal nodes. Men are more likely (up to 10 times, according to a report published by drugs.com) to develop swollen inguinal nodes than women. The same report recommends seeking medical attention if one develops a tender and persistent lump in the groin area. Your doctor will evaluate your medical history and examine the swollen node. In some cases, these nodes may develop lymphoma (cancer of the white blood cells). It is important to note that there are 35 types of lymphoma (What Is Lymphoma: A Brief Guide), and a person may develop either Hodgkin’s or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
If you experience swelling in the groin area, your lymph nodes may be the culprits. To confirm this, run your hand horizontally along the groin area below the inguinal ligament. If you come across swollen nodes, do not panic. However, seek medical attention if the swollen nodes do not subside after several days.
- Symptoms of Inguinal Hernia | http://www.rhodeislandhospital.org/services/surgery/minimally-invasive-surgery/patient-education-guides/inguinal-hernia/symptoms.html
- How to Check Your Lymph Nodes | http://www.plymouthhospitals.nhs.uk/OURSERVICES/CANCERSERVICES/SKIN/Pages/HowtoCheckYourLymphNodes.aspx
- Inguinal (Groin) Lymph Nodes | http://www.thelymphnodes.com/locations/inguinal-groin-lymph-nodes/
- HOW TO CHECK YOUR LYMPH NODES | http://www.bad.org.uk/library-media%5Cdocuments%5CLymph%20nodes%20PIL%20April%202011%20-%20lay%20reviewed%20July%202011.pdf
- Understanding the Inguinal Lymph Nodes | http://www.lymphnodesexpert.com/?page_id=3