The treatment for swollen glands depends on the cause, according to WebMD. Some of the most common causes of swollen lymph node glands are bacterial infections, which are treated with antibiotics, and viral infections, which do not respond to antibiotics. Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs can reduce the pain and discomfort associated with swollen glands.
Since sore and swollen glands are usually caused by a minor infection, symptoms usually end without treatment, states MedlinePlus. In these cases, soreness is relieved after a few days, and swelling completely reduces in a couple of weeks. When swollen lymph nodes continue to swell, or if swelling does not go down in a couple of weeks, medical attention may be necessary. Other reasons to contact a medical professional are if the swollen glands are red, hard or irregularly shaped, or if lymph node swelling is accompanied by night sweats, fever or weight loss. Difficulty breathing and swallowing are additional symptoms that require medical attention, as suggested by WebMD.
Doctors perform any combination of blood tests, lymph node biopsies, X-rays, and liver and spleen scans to determine the underlying cause of swollen lymph nodes, according to MedlinePlus. When the cause is determined, the doctor prescribes necessary medications and suggests suitable treatment methods.