What is the sudden pain at the base of the skull?


Quick Answer

The sudden pain at the base of the skull is referred to as occipital neuralgia. This pain occurs when the occipital nerves are injured or inflamed. This condition can be confused with a migraine since they have similar symptoms, as stated by WebMD.

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Full Answer

Symptoms of occipital neuralgia include tender scalp, light sensitivity, pain when rotating the neck, pain on the sides of the neck and throbbing pain at the base of the head. The causes of the pain may include gout, diabetes, osteoarthritis, cervical disc disease, blood vessel inflammation and trauma, as noted by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. Since it may be difficult to identify occipital neuralgia, a doctor will need to check the medical history of a person to determine the cause.

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