Muscle or joint. Usually it's muscular. Cervical facet arthritis will also do it. There are always dangerous causes (tumor, infection) but they are less common. See a pain doctor for diagnosis.
I have severe chronic neck pain at the base of my skull and when it hurts I have red blotch in the exact area that hurts what would cause the blotch?
See a neurologist. Sympathetically maintained pain (SMP). The pain associated with SMP can be continuous with an aching, burning quality that is sometimes accompanied by a continuing background discomfort and tissue swelling, or it can occur spontaneously. Blocking the sympathetic activity by anesthetizing the Stellate Ganglion may stop the pain. Take care. Read more...