There are hundreds of lymph nodes throughout the body. Certain ones may swell or become enlarged temporarily to fight off an infection or because the node is overloaded with debris that is being filtered from the lymph system. Some swollen lymph nodes are more noticeable in certain parts of the body. A hard lymph node should be checked by a healthcare professional to rule out any serious health issues that may be causing the lymph node to be hard.

Location In The Body

Lymph nodes are located throughout the body. The left region includes a more extensive lymphatic system than the right zone. Hard lymph nodes are most commonly noticed in the groin, neck, and armpit; however, there are other areas that they may also be seen.

Specific Lymph nodes are located near the surface of the skin, making them easy to feel and notice when their hard but other ones are located beneath the body parts like the muscle, making them only detectable during surgery or a scan. This prevents a physical exam from determining if specific lymph nodes are hard, infected, or swollen.

Additional Information – Infected Lymph Nodes

Using Tests To Determine The Cause

When going to a physician to diagnose the cause of an enlarged or hard lymph node, the visit will start with getting a medical history. Other symptoms like fever or night sweats will be noted. After that, there will be a physical examination. If the cause cannot be determined, some tests will need to be done to diagnose the cause.

  • Blood tests
  • Biopsies
  • Surgeries
  • Lab tests
  • Scans

One or more of these procedures may be used to determine the cause of the problematic lymph node.

Causes Of Enlargement

The scariest reason of an enlarged lymph node is cancer. This is a rare cause of swollen lymph nodes. Commonly it is a reaction to an infection in the body near the location of it. Usually, they will be soft and movable but not hard. Causes of enlarged lymph nodes:

A physician should check hard, swollen, and enlarged lymph nodes that don’t return to normal within two weeks. Once the cause is diagnosed, hard lymph nodes can be treated.

Swollen, Rapidly Growing, or Hard

Treating the health condition that is causing the lymph node to be enlarged will need to be done first. If the cause is cancer, treatment can include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. For infections, antibiotics may be necessary to get rid of the disease.

Not all hard lymph nodes are painful, but if they are pain medication and. Rest, and a healthy diet will help the body to recover from whatever is causing the lymph nodes to be overloaded and help the body to focus on healing.


Lymph nodes are an essential part of the lymphatic system, which is part of the immune system. When a hard lymph node is noticed, it is recommended having it checked by a healthcare professional.