The head and neck region of the body contains approximately 300 lymph nodes. They are named according to the anatomy they are close to and therefore the area they provide drainage to. When it comes to diagnostics, such as malignancies, the nodes can be good indictors of where disease is present.
For the purpose of this course and with our manual lymphatic drainage in mind, we will focus on 6 groups of nodes in the head and neck. These groups are superficial or close tot he surface of the skin and drain into the deeper lymphatics or cervical lymphatics.
- The preauricular lymph nodes are the ones located just in front of your ears. They drain lymph fluid from the eyes, cheeks and the scalp near your temples.
- The retroauricular nodes are two or three lymph nodes situated behind the ear. They receive lymph from the temporal region, the visible ear and the ear canal. They drain into the deep cervical lymph nodes.
- The submandibular and paratid nodes at situated close to the hinge of the jaw. They drain the cheek, nose, upper lip and lower lip and they receive lymph from the submental nodes. This lymph is filtered and passed on to the deep cervical lymph nodes.
- The submental nodes are situated below the chin area. Submental lymph nodes drain the lymph from the anterior part of the floor of mouth, the frenulum and apex of the tongue, the mandibular incisors, the central portion of the lower lip and the skin of the chin. They drain to the submandibular nodes.
- The External Jugular Nodes can also be known as the superficial lateral cervical lymph nodes. Both these names give a good idea of the node clusters position. In front of the cervical spine and close to the external jugular vein. This group of lymph nodes receive lymph from the parotid and submandibular nodes and drain to the supraclavicular nodes at the root of the neck.
- The Supraclavicular Nodes are very important for any lymphatic therapy. These nodes represent the final anatomical area of lymphatic drainage prior to the lymph rejoining the blood circulation near the heart. That are situated just above the clavicle. Every sequence of manual lymphatic drainage will begin and end at the point.