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What is Chiari Malformation?

Chiari malformation, is usually present at birth and occurs at the back of the head where the brain and spinal cord connect.

There are four types of Chiari malformations:

  • Type 1 – occurs when the base of the skull and upper spinal area do not form properly. A type 1 Chiari malformation commonly goes unnoticed until problems arise in the adolescent or adult years of life. The headaches most typical of Chiari I malformations are usually located at the back of the head, and are often made worse by exertion.
  • Type 2 – sometimes known as an Arnold-Chiari malformation, a type 2 Chiari malformation is caused by part of the back of the brain shifting downward through the bottom of the skull. it is seen in infants who are born with spina bifida and can also be associated with hydrocephalus, a condition in which there is an overproduction or lack of absorption of the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF).
  • Type 3 – occurs when the back of the brain protrudes out of an opening in the back of the skull area.
  • Type 4 – occur when the back of the brain fails to develop normally.

Children with Chiari I malformations may start to have symptoms as early as age 2 or 3. Some don't have any symptoms until they are older. Symptoms can appear any time. They may start or get worse after a trauma, physical effort or straining, such as exercising, coughing or sneezing.

Syringomyelia, common with Chiari, is a cyst in the center of the spinal cord that is filled with fluid. The cyst, also called a syrinx, can get larger and longer over time, putting pressure on the spinal cord and causing symptoms. If not treated, it may also eventually cause nerve damage.

Read more here about living and coping with CM. 


excruciating pain and I don't know what to do

Started by FauxLiz in Emotional Support 11 hours ago. 0 Replies

I am in the middle of another excruciating headache with pain in my neck so bad I can barely turn my head.  Of course it is the weekend, the end of the month and I am out of any and all pain meds that do anything to assist.I know my entire weekend…Continue

Tags: doctors, crappy, up, flare


Started by mamabear32 in What's New With You?. Last reply by FauxLiz 11 hours ago. 1 Reply

I finally managed to get in with a gp doctor, mostly to get a refill of the fiorcet that the hospital gave me which has been helping quite a bit on most days. The doctor for one basically had no idea what chiari was, and decided I needed to be on an…Continue

Where do I start?

Started by kittywompas in New Member Introductions. Last reply by Lindy yesterday. 3 Replies

Hello!My Name is Kelli, I'm 35, and I'm still pretty new to this whole "Chronic Illness" thing.See, a year ago, I did Crossfit, volunteered with a local dog rescue group, played dress-up at renaissance faires and enjoyed hiking and riding…Continue


Started by Jennifer in General. Last reply by Jules G on Thursday. 5 Replies

Hello everyone. I have a question. I am going on a trip to Missouri in two weeks. I'm getting a little worried about flying because I'm not sure how I'm going to react to the cabin pressure. My doctor assures me that it's OK for me to fly but I'm…Continue

Latest Activity

FauxLiz posted a discussion

excruciating pain and I don't know what to do

I am in the middle of another excruciating headache with pain in my neck so bad I can barely turn…See More
11 hours ago
FauxLiz replied to mamabear32's discussion Topamax?
"I know that this is a late reply but I have been on and off Topamax for several years as the…"
11 hours ago
Lloyd Graving left a comment for Autumn
"Autumn, I am 43 yrs old, always, as far as I can remember, have had symptons associated with…"
Lindy replied to kittywompas's discussion Where do I start?
"Once u get confirmation via MRI, it's such a relief. Make sure to get a Cine MRI!! I went…"

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Top Content 

1 Where do I start?

Where do I start?

Posted by kittywompas on May 24, 2016

2 2 yrs post op and symptoms are reoccurring

2 yrs post op and symptoms are reoccurring

Posted by Nila on May 20, 2016

3 Three symptoms

Three symptoms

Posted by MrsForest on April 24, 2016

4 Has anyone Ever had seuizer like espoides, they believe are related to Chiari?

Has anyone Ever had seuizer like espoides, they believe are related to Chiari?

Posted by Autumn on May 22, 2016

5 New and a little lost.

New and a little lost.

Posted by Brittney M on May 24, 2016

6 Holistic Treatment for the Management of CM

Holistic Treatment for the Management of CM

Posted by BrandyPandy on January 31, 2012

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