Spinal Stenosis, Trauma, and Other Causes of an Achy Neck

spinal stenosis, neck pain at the base of the skull

Waking up with noticeable neck pain at the base of the skull can be a terrible way to start your day. But unfortunately, this is the reality for most people in the country today because of several health concerns. Suppose you're a part of the growing statistics. In that case, you might want to know as much as possible about spinal stenosis, neck trauma, osteoarthritis, and cervical spine misalignments. 

Additionally, you might find it helpful to understand other unexpected triggers of a painful neck. Read on to learn everything you need to soothe a throbbing neck.


Usual Causes of Neck Pain

Patients across the USA report several reasons behind their neck pain at the base of the skull. Notably, most of these are comorbidities or pre-existing health problems that require the attention of a doctor, therapist, or an Upper Cervical physician. Here are the top five examples: 

#1. Spinal Stenosis 

The vertebral bones protect the peripheral nervous system (spinal cord and nerve roots). Unfortunately, because of spinal stenosis, the supposed space for the spinal cord gradually becomes narrow. This puts pressure on the tissues and causes the rapid firing of pain signals to and from the affected sections of the spinal cord. Consequently, the compression of the nerve tissues can lead to numbness and tingling sensation on the neck, shoulders, and upper back. 

#2. Osteoarthritis

CDC says osteoarthritis affects approximately 32.5 million Americans. It afflicts a broad spectrum of patients but primarily develops in middle-aged and senior adults. Studies explain the condition causes the cushion material between bones to deteriorate. This causes friction and leads to significant pain and discomfort. 

Notably, osteoarthritis can develop in various body parts, especially in areas that move a lot. These include the neck, elbows, wrists, knees, and hips. Besides pain, osteoarthritis patients report additional symptoms like loss of flexibility, joint stiffness, and bone overgrowths. 

#3. Trauma

Physical trauma such as car collisions and sports injuries can damage muscles and joints. Additionally, it can cause spinal misalignments and eventually neuropathic pain (due to nerve compression or irritation). 

#4. Disc Degeneration 

Besides osteoarthritis, a significant fraction of people in the country have disc degeneration. This condition causes the intervertebral discs to deteriorate, allowing the bones to rub on each other. The increased friction between the intervertebral bones leads to inflammation and increases risks for spinal misalignments and nerve pinching along various sections of the spine.  

#5. Cervical Spine Misalignment 

As established in the previous sections, spinal misalignments can develop from many things. Unfortunately, when the alignment of the spinal bones is out of whack, you become at risk of several health complications like nerve compression, overstimulation of the nerves, and brainstem irritation. On top of that, the muscles and joints attached to the misaligned vertebral bones become stiff and painful.

Thankfully, you can potentially resolve the misalignment with upper cervical chiropractic. With the help of an upper cervical chiropractor, you can have a better shot at relieving neck pain at the base of the skull

spinal stenosis, neck pain at the base of the skull






Other Unexpected Triggers Of Neck Pain At The Base Of The Skull

Pre-existing health concerns aren't the only possible causes of neck pain at the base of the skull. Studies note that there are several unexpected triggers of an achy neck. A few examples include: 

Poor posture

When you slouch, your neck works extra hard to balance the weight of your head. The unnecessary muscle strain can gradually dislodge the neck bones and cause the rest of your spinal column to compensate. So, you might find it helpful to mind your posture while sitting, standing, and walking. 

Practice simple tips like pulling in your abdomen and putting the weight of your body on your soles. Additionally, you might find it helpful to seek an upper cervical doctor to receive gentle and precise neck bone adjustments. 

Excessive use of gadgets

Do you often spend long hours using gadgets like your phone or laptop? Chances are, you often notice soreness or tenderness at the base of your skull. 

When you look down to adjust your head and view your device's screen, the neck bones have to bear a heavier weight. That's because gravity is working its magic, pulling your head downwards and causing your neck to work double time to keep it upright. 

So, we strongly suggest working around the problem by adjusting the screen or using a cellphone holder on your desk. This will prevent your head from looking down and ensure your neck doesn't suffer.

Awkward sleeping position

Do you tend to sleep on your belly? If yes, you're likely to wake up with an achy neck. Laying on your stomach forces your neck to stay at an awkward angle for several hours. This strains the muscles and increases the risks for postural imbalances. 

We suggest switching to a healthier sleeping position to combat sleeping-related neck pain. Additionally, we recommend investing in better quality pillows to prop your head and shoulders at a suitable angle while you lay in bed. 

Poor driving habits

Americans spend about 17,600 minutes behind the wheels each year. If you do the math, that's roughly equivalent to 122 days. Now imagine if you spend all this time not following proper driving habits like adjusting your seat to 100 degrees or putting on the seatbelt. This can put you at risk of intense neck pain. Additionally, it might harm you, especially when you get into an accident.  


Work with a Local Upper Cervical Doctor to Eliminate Neck Pain

Upper Cervical Chiropractic doctors are no stranger to meeting patients complaining of neck pain at the base of the skull. That's because it's relatively common and can arise from factors like those we listed above. We suggest seeking a local Upper Cervical doctor if you suffer from intense or recurring neck pain. 

This will help you determine if you have upper cervical bone misalignments and if you make an excellent candidate to receive atlas bone adjustments. Hopefully, once you begin receiving Upper Cervical Care, you can correct your postural problem and experience significant relief from your achy neck. 

Consult with an Upper Cervical Chiropractic physician near you to begin experiencing a different level of healing and recovery.


Find An Upper Cervical Doctor in Your Areato schedule a consultation today.

Find an Upper Cervical Specialist In Your Area

to schedule a consultation today.

Featured Articles


Montel Williams
Montel Williams

TV show host Montel Williams describes how specific chiropractic care has helped his body.

NBC's The Doctors

The TV show "The Doctors" showcased Upper Cervical Care.

CBS News/Migraine Relief

CBS News highlighted the alleviation of Migraines and Headaches.

The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.