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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. 


Does anyone suffer from bad or severe back and muscle pain with Chiari and Syringomyelia?.

Started by RedSquirrel90 in General. Last reply by RedSquirrel90 36 minutes ago. 2 Replies

Hi,I have Chiari malformation and I've been recently been diagnosed with syringomyelia and fibromyalgia. I'm going to have an MRI scan this week with the injection dye to check everything. I've had so many MRI scans but this is the first time I'm…Continue

Dysphagia. Anyone have it?

Started by Sabrina Haller Yeager in Symptoms. Last reply by catlover72 16 hours ago. 26 Replies

I have Dysphagia and was wondering how many of you have it?  I also use cough drops to help me swallow when I have trouble.  It's usually after I eat, but sometimes I wake up having trouble swallowing.  Anyone use cough drops or hard candy for it?…Continue

With my symptoms at this point

Started by DiamondCorsette in Symptoms 17 hours ago. 0 Replies

I'll tell anyone and show anyone my scans. So desperate but still trying to find a doctor to diagnose me face to face. I did have the good luck to get a chiari specialist to say that my images do suggest Chiari. But now what?! Do I need surgery? The…Continue

New and need help

Started by Ellenc in General. Last reply by Jules G 19 hours ago. 1 Reply

I signed up last night. I have a long story. When my mom was in the hospital to deliver me, the doctor was gone and my mom told the nurses the baby is coming. They told her no don't worry and checked her and sure enough I was crowning. They didn't…Continue

Latest Activity

RedSquirrel90 replied to RedSquirrel90's discussion Does anyone suffer from bad or severe back and muscle pain with Chiari and Syringomyelia?.
"Thank you Jules G,  I will have a look. "
36 minutes ago

Jules G left a comment for Eileen Vidal
"Hello Eileen, welcome to Chiari Support. Glad you found and joined us.  I would suggest that…"
2 hours ago
Profile IconEileen Vidal and Kara Stuckel joined Chiari Malformation - Online Support Group
2 hours ago

Jules G replied to RedSquirrel90's discussion Does anyone suffer from bad or severe back and muscle pain with Chiari and Syringomyelia?.
"Hi there RedSquirrel90, do check out our Living With Fibromyalgia community where you may find…"
7 hours ago

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