What Causes Neck Pain at the Base of the Skull?


Do you often experience neck pain at the base of the skull? If so, you are not alone, and there are many different factors that can contribute to your pain. We are going to look at 7 of the most common triggers for neck pain at the base of the skull. Then we will provide you with information on a natural approach that can help relieve many causes of this type of neck pain at the base of the skull. 

#1 Cervical Disc Problems 

Seven vertebrae make up the neck. In between each bone is a disc of spongy material that keeps the vertebrae from rubbing against each other. They also provide absorption for impact when you run or jump. However, the discs may slip out of place just as the bones themselves can become misaligned. You can also have a disc that bulges or ruptures. If a disc problem is irritating the wrong nerve, it can lead to neck pain at the base of the skull

#2 Arthritis of the Neck 

Arthritis causes pain with a combination of swelling and loss of cartilage. When it comes to the neck, you may see a wearing away of the discs between the vertebrae. With certain types of arthritis, there may also be an autoimmune element where the body attacks the joint tissue. Regardless of the reason for the loss of material, the resulting inflammation can cause pain. When this happens in the neck, you may feel it right at the base of your skull.

#3 Repetitive Motion Injuries 

There are muscles that run along each side of the neck that are the primary source of strength for moving your head. Repetitive motion injuries can strain these muscles and cause pain at the base of the skull. One common repetitive motion that may be responsible for this is looking down at a phone or other device screen over and over again throughout the day. Even if you sit at a desk for work, if your monitors are not at eye level, you may be tilting your head slightly forward for hours at a time. 

#4 Head and Neck Injuries 

Trauma in the head and neck area often leads to pain. You may injure the ligaments or tendons. The discs may be damaged as they absorb the impact. In severe injuries, there may even be damage to the vertebrae themselves.

#5 Poor Posture 

Whether it is sitting at a desk, driving a car for long hours, leaning your chin on your hand, holding a phone between your ear and shoulder, or some other postural issue, this can lead to damage and pain. Neck pain may not go away until you address any underlying damage, but you also have to correct the posture issue, or the pain is almost sure to return. 

#6 Poor Sleep Position 

If you sleep on your stomach with your head turned to the side all night, that is basically the recipe for neck pain at the base of the skull. Additionally, if you sleep sitting up, such as on public transportation, your neck is sure to twist in an awkward position. You may want to get a neck pillow for extra support. 

#7 Lack of Activity 

Your joints rely on regular movement to keep from getting stiff. If you don’t exercise and are just not that active in general, you are likely to begin having issues with your joints. This is especially true of the neck since there are seven bones, each of which has a joint of sorts in between them.

Neck Pain at the Base of the Skull?

If you are dealing with pain at the base of the skull, what can you do? For natural relief, you are going to need to gradually build up a good exercise routine (under the oversight of a healthcare practitioner) and try to maintain good posture from here forward. That may mean raising the monitors on your desk and getting earbuds for when you need to speak on your phone and keep your hands free at the same time. 

However, if you have an upper cervical misalignment, which can occur with repetitive motion injuries, trauma, and even relate to disc issues, then you need to correct the position of the vertebrae. For precise and gentle adjustments, we would like to recommend upper cervical specific chiropractic care.

Upper Cervical Chiropractic for Natural Neck Pain at the Base of the Skull Relief  

Upper cervical chiropractors focus attention on the top two bones in the neck. These bones are located right at the base of the skull, so it makes sense that a misalignment could exist if this is where your pain occurs. X-rays help to pinpoint even the slimmest of misalignments. Then, the upper cervical specialist performs a calculation so that each patient receives an exact correction. Finally, because of the precision of the adjustment, corrections are incredibly gentle. That makes it safe for just about anyone. 

Research has shown that upper cervical chiropractic care can be effective in managing and relieving symptoms of neck pain. A retrospective case series demonstrated that an upper cervical low-force (UCLF) chiropractic procedure, based on a vertebral alignment model, showed promising results in managing neck pain. Another study found that patients with acute neck pain who received upper cervical chiropractic care showed improved outcomes.

A study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics observed that patients with neck pain who received upper cervical chiropractic care showed improvements in pain, neck muscle strength, and range of motion. Another study found that neck pain improved over a 17-day treatment period that included an average of 2.4 upper cervical adjustments by a mean of 56.8%.

Upper cervical chiropractic care has also been used to help various neurological disorders, including migraines, learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD, autism, and brain injuries. Research has shown that upper cervical adjustments enhance nerve functions and improve overall brain health.

Some studies have reported mild intensity symptomatic reactions (SRs) short in duration following upper cervical chiropractic care. These reactions tend to be mild in intensity and self-limiting.

In conclusion, upper cervical chiropractic care is a promising approach to managing neck pain and improving overall health. However, as with any treatment, it's important to discuss this option with an upper cervical specialist to determine if it's the right approach for individual health needs.

If you have neck pain at the base of the skull, then it makes sense to see an upper cervical chiropractor. This specific form of chiropractic targets the exact region where your pain is. To learn more, find a practitioner in your area. You can use the search feature on this website to locate a preferred practitioner near you. Your first visit may set you on the path to better overall health and wellbeing, as well as bringing an end to your neck pain at the base of the skull. 

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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.