Chiari Online Support Group

Atlas Orthogonal Chiropractic Care and Chiari


Hi Everyone!

I am new to being diagnosed with Chiari, and I am not sure where to start. For six years, I have dealt with debilitating headaches that have made me leave my teaching career. To help with the headaches, I am starting to try Atlas Orthogonal chiropractic care. Has anyone else tried this? What tips do you have? Thank you so much!


Chiropractic care is highly not recommended for folks with Chiari malformation regardless of what promises are made (painless, no manipulation, aligne the spine for optimal body self-healing…). Chiropractors do not have the medical knowledge to deal with the complexities of Chiari anatomy. There is a space occupying mass at the foramen magnum and however far the cerebellum extends into the spinal cord. A good question to think about or to ask is “Is this treatment appropriate for a tumour in the same area?”.

The Chiari head ache is tough to address as medications and traditional physical therapy typically do not help a terrible amount. (Graded motor imagery did help me after surgery. I wish I had known about it prior to surgery).

I try to challenge new Chiari folk to ask their neurosurgeon what they think is causing the head ache. To date, I have a sneaking suspicion that they don’t know. It makes it had to treat a head ache of unknown origin!

My theory on the origin is blood vessels that feed the occipital dura are compressed at the level of the foramen magnum. This causes ischemic pain in the occipital area - think referred pain. Of course, I no longer have contact with a neurosurgeon so please ask for me that I may live vicariously through you.

Good luck with managing your health and your comfort levels. Chiari truly gives a new level of challenge to life.


While I did Chiropractic care it was not Orthogonal. I began Chiropractic care in 1997 and in 2009 had surgery for Chiari Malformation 1. After the decompression my adjustments improved because the crowding in the lower portion of the cerebellum was lessened.

If you have had decompression surgery Chiropractors must give this consideration especially if your C-1 is removed. Also consider the factor that I had known my Chiropractor for 12 years when I had my decompression and she had already brought me through a spinal fusion in 2001, so I knew her well and knew she understood my body and the health conditions it had suffered.

Good luck and best always.