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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. 


my first decompression surgery less than a week away

Started by wonderwoman1006 in Emotional Support. Last reply by Skye 4 hours ago. 30 Replies

Can anyone out there tell me what to expect please? I'm nervous and scared but relieved at same time...Can some please tell me what to expect when I wake up???

Operation, yes or no?

Started by LNJACKSON in General. Last reply by LNJACKSON 6 hours ago. 8 Replies

Hi, I'm 15 and I've been diagnosed with Chiari Malformation about 3/4 weeks ago, I know little about this condition but I have been offered to have an operation. I also know little about the other effects or potential dangers that come along with…Continue

Tags: please, help, no, yes, Operation

Upcoming Surgeries

Started by BaltimoreBaby in General 10 hours ago. 0 Replies

We know of a number of members who will be having surgeries soon-dolphinlove123tes3jenTiffanywonderwoman1006Kayla C.Please join us in wishing them peace of mind, success and speedy recovery!Your Mod TeamContinue

Age averages??

Started by Sherry in General. Last reply by Allura 14 hours ago. 25 Replies

I am new to this site and was just recently diagnosed with cm. I am 52 years old and the NS I saw said he's only operated on one other patient around my age, everyone else was younger. This struck me a little strange. my symptoms seem to have…Continue


Started by Allura in Symptoms and Medical Treatments. Last reply by Allura 14 hours ago. 2 Replies

i have undergone the decompression surgery  last may. also have had c2 and c3 nerve taken out bilaterally. the past 4 months the pain and symptoms have become progressively worse. i just finished my third physical therapy session. apparently i have…Continue

Chiari and Yoga

Started by Lucy1021 in General. Last reply by Abbey 15 hours ago. 9 Replies

Hi,I was diagnosed with Chiari about 7 years ago after a routine MRI (a few months previous I was diagnosed with epilepsy..the MRI was a "just in case we missed something" procedure). I had very few obvious symptoms and I still don't, except for…Continue

2 year old with chiari 1

Started by gilly in Parents and Caretakers of Children with Chiari. Last reply by Auburnm 18 hours ago. 1 Reply

hi,my 2 year old grandson has chiari 1 we found out about a year ago now,we found out after he had had several long seizures,he does have symptoms nystagmus ,balance problems,choking,nec pain arm pain and tingling in his fingers,amoung other things…Continue


Started by dolphinlove123 in General. Last reply by Auburnm yesterday. 6 Replies


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About Blogs

Blogs are for tracking your personal journey and sharing your reflections, humor, or insights with the community. If you have questions about Chiari, living with Chiari, treating Chiari or anything else and would like responses, PLEASE start a thread in Discussions, as your question will be seen by more people and receive more answers. 

Blog Posts

Marvelous Journey Episode 2.11

Posted by Merv Webb on March 30, 2015 at 8:24pm 0 Comments

All good things must come to an end. This is the final episode of the 2015 Crossfit Open Season and once again, The Crossfit director has tested the limits as the final event includes Thrusters and Calorie Rows. Thrusters are no fun. Come see me…



Posted by Rese Hull on March 29, 2015 at 6:20pm 0 Comments

I feel I've been hit in the back of the head, hard. Head feels bruised and I have been dizzy all day. I can barely walk a straight line. I don't dare try to bend over, lol. Time for a muscle relaxer and my bed.

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