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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. 



Started by hope24 in General. Last reply by AnaS 1 hour ago. 11 Replies

I have a problem driving in a car.  My constant headache severely increases when riding in a carI only leave the house for doctor appointments.   Does anyone have the same symptom?How do you prevent the pain?  I have CM1 with 6mm and syrinx at T-3.I…Continue

Dysphagia. Anyone have it?

Started by Sabrina Haller Yeager in Symptoms. Last reply by LtMom 3 hours ago. 9 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

Meningitis help...

Started by Kayla in General. Last reply by Dr. Trumble 5 hours ago. 3 Replies

I can't find anything on this; but I'd really like to know.I've mentioned in posts about this before- but I was diagnosed with meningitis about a week and a half ago.I was in the ER the first 12 hours waiting for a room, and once I got in one they…Continue

Tags: time, pain, meningitis

Flying with Chiari Malformation

Started by seascape in General 9 hours ago. 0 Replies

Have any of you ever had a problem with flying, if so what kind of problems have you had?Continue

surgery. date. 6/10/2015

Started by Debra Mann Davis in Surgery. Last reply by DylanAesthetic yesterday. 9 Replies

This will be my 5th surgery. I will be having another shunt put in I am scared. Because I had this done before and it didn't work and had to be removed I got meningitis had a CFS leak and I am afraid I will go threw this again. Has anyone been threw…Continue

I would just like to share my experiences and journey with my Chiari; pre- and post-op

Started by Kayla in Surgery. Last reply by Kayla yesterday. 7 Replies

Hello, all!I'm relatively new to this website and have never signed up for a forum before, butI would just like to share with everyone my personal experiences with having a Chiari Malformation, along with my decompression surgery experience. Some of…Continue

Tags: craniectomy, laminectomy, symptoms, surgery, Malformation

Had my first MRI...

Started by Littlebittie76 in General. Last reply by Auburnm on Saturday. 2 Replies

Hi Guys,    I am relatively new to both this group and Chiari, well the idea of it.  I have been surring the heaches and odd syptoms for about 10 yrs and no one could figure them out or offer me anything that helped at all.  A few months ago my…Continue


Started by Mothergoose in General on Saturday. 0 Replies

Just curious if anyone has any input for me? I went in for a CT scan back in 2012 because I was having some neurological symptoms, a burning and stinging sensation in the back of my head and neck and burning and stinging down my spine, vertigo. The…Continue

Latest Activity

AnaS replied to hope24's discussion HEADACHE
"Thank you so much Flerrie for this information. At times I feel like throwing my hands up and…"
1 hour ago
Jozy commented on Sonya Teixeira's group Florida Chiari Support
"Lauren Dr Trumble is my new neurosurgeon. He is an exceptional man and human being. His bedside…"
2 hours ago
dizzyt left a comment for Madere (dancermom)
"Thank you for responding I feel alone with this condition that I was just diagnosis, hope to find…"
3 hours ago
LtMom replied to Sabrina Haller Yeager's discussion Dysphagia. Anyone have it?
"For migraines, I take a low dose of a beta blocker every day and keep Rizatriptan on hand to knock…"
3 hours ago
flerrie replied to hope24's discussion HEADACHE
"Hi AnaS and all of you, All of these meds can simply prescribed by your Gp. My Neuro started me on…"
4 hours ago
CiCi replied to Sabrina Haller Yeager's discussion Dysphagia. Anyone have it?
"I had wondered if anyone else was having any problem swallowing.  That is what seems to …"
4 hours ago
Dr. Trumble replied to Kayla's discussion Meningitis help...
"Understood.  sounds like you are going down the proper pathway. I didn't understand you…"
5 hours ago
Kayla replied to Kayla's discussion Meningitis help...
"Thank you for your reply. The NS on call came in to check on me this afternoon and said the spinal…"
6 hours ago

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

Does this sound like chiari to you?

Posted by Maija on May 23, 2015 at 1:54pm 0 Comments

I've just seen my neurologist and she said my mri scan showed that I have chiari and said mine is "symptom free". Well I've suffered from mild to crazy headaches from my teens and they have been getting more frequent and worse. I've always before… Continue

About blogs

Posted by Madere (dancermom) on May 23, 2015 at 7:00am 2 Comments

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…


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Top Content 



Posted by hope24 on May 17, 2015

2 Dysphagia.  Anyone have it?

Dysphagia. Anyone have it?

Posted by Sabrina Haller Yeager on May 22, 2015

3 how do you no what to do

how do you no what to do

Posted by gilly on May 19, 2015

4 surgery. date. 6/10/2015

surgery. date. 6/10/2015

Posted by Debra Mann Davis on May 22, 2015

5 Surgery tips!

Surgery tips!

Posted by Lauren on May 20, 2015

6 Surgery or Not???

Surgery or Not???

Posted by stingerbabe on May 21, 2015


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