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Hi all, does anyone every experience rheumatoid pain in the base of the skull?

I seem to have a 'stiff neck' but it seems to radiate into the right hand side of the skull and left side of the neck. All very strange, don't like to waste the consultants time, but may ring them and ask as i've had in 2 or 3 weeks now.

11 Replies

I thought I did, and so did a GP, I had pain exactly as you say and assumed it was RA because it was so similar in its nature to my other pains. However it turned out to be wear and tear in my neck when I had an MRI scan. I did leave it and got into quite a pickle, so if it gets much stiffer or more painful I'd advise you to contact someone about it if you're able to.

Of course, that's only my experience and if I've learned anything from this site, each of us has an individual set of symptoms with this disease!


Thank you Sailaway, it seems to ease with pain killers but still leaves me with a very slight dull headache. What did they do for you .. Do you still have it? When they said 'wear and tear' was that an answer for osteoarthritis? Much appreciated your last

quick response! X


Yes, wear and tear is osteoarthritis, and in the neck it's called cervical spondylosis. When my neck was extremely stiff and incredibly painful all they could do was help me with the pain and inflammation, so I had a mixture of diazepam, celecoxib and heated wheat bags to get me through (it was 2 weeks - awful). I think they said that a nerve had been trapped or irritated, either trapped in a muscle or irritated by the wear and tear. Because it was so painful I had an MRI to rule out a few things, but also to see what was going on. There was no sign of RA at all, only signs of wear and tear.

Since then I've noticed that my neck doesn't 'swivel' as well as it used to and it does get stuck at times - and incredibly noisy! Heat packs and gently stretching my muscles seem to be enough to keep it moving, and I've been told not to worry about the noises.

I really hope you get no worse, and you get the answers and treatment you need x


I've had that for years and was told to keep moving it, even if it is painful. I am apt to turn myself from the waist and not the neck. The only thing is you need to be able to turn your neck to drive so you can see in your blind spots as the mirrors dont cover every angle. So that is when i move my neck as i am the driver in the house. Otherwise i would have to rely on the kids more. hope you manage, gentle hugs.



I have something similar but along with it is crunching of the bones, I have been told it''s wear and tear so yes have taken it to mean OA.


as above, BUT - you can get "wear and tear" osteoarthritis secondary to inflammatory arthritis, so could have been caused by RA, (or the same kind of thing by Spondyloarthritis). Interestingly I had a doctor tell me quite clearly that my MRI showed "wear and tear" in a whole lot of places, and yet when I take strong antiinflammatory treatment almost all of the pain in those areas goes, so there is obviously still quite a lot of inflammatory component left. The only thing I find is that overdoing it will make those degenerated areas flare up and get sore more quickly again, but that calms down when I rest again.


hi..my neck/base of skull was the first place they found arthritis...then progressed rapidly all over....the headaches are excruciating and feels like i have a hot needle in my left eye.....9yrs of them now so have learnt to just take all the pills allowed and rest till it passes..can last several days x


I have RA in my neck (c-spine). For me its usually just a dull ache but it can give me migraines, which I hate. I find ice helps as it is caused by inflammation.

Might want to have it checked, just in case though.


Is it not spondolosis I have it in my neck and my spine


Have this too.. but my pin on right side. neck grinds and sometimes get headaches too,, feel like sawing of head!!


Thank you all so much for your responses! I have been referred for an MRI (of which is absolutely terrifying me as i get claustrophobic - will be taking valium and plenty of it!)

My consultant is brilliant and says he isn't unduly worried about my neck/spine, but wants a clearer picture, all of which could be just wear and tear and/or trapped nerve somewhere caused by inflammation. Im not sure which I'm more terrifyed about, the MRI or the results! I probably shouldn't have googled cervical spondylitis!

Hopefully it will get to the bottom of it all, but generally my neck isn't too bad and im hoping its just a 'flare' fingers crossed.

Thanks all and hope you are all keeping well



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