My name is Travis and I am 17 years old.. When i was 15 i was experiencing extremely bad headaches, all day ever day, and i was EXTREMELY light sensitive, i took about a month for someone to find out what i had, which was Arnold Chiari Malformation. The doctor came in and said they had some bad news, and said they had to do brain surgery on me, they said it was a more severe case, and they scheduled the surgery for the following day.. My entire family, and all my friends put me in their prayers, and the next day came, another MRI was done, and the chiari had actually went down a little bit, and all pain had stopped(thank the lord!!) With that all being said, about 3 months ago i was stopped at a red light, and rearended by a escalade that was not paying attention, he was going about 50 mph, i had severe whiplash from that, and something happened with my back, (forgot what the doc. said it was) , and since then i've been getting increasingly more painful headaches, staying for longer periods of time, i was wondering if it would make sence that getting rearended would spike it again, or maybe push my brain down lower?
Hi Travis, and welcome to our family :)
A LOT of us actually didn't have a lot of symptoms with Chiari until after there was some type of Trauma.That is how some us were Diagnosed. Even though it is thought that we have had this our entire lives, it seems our bodies were able to compensate for it until there was some type of trauma/injury then it awakened the symptoms and everything went haywire. So Yes, it very well could have aggravated your already existing problem.
Did they redo and MRI to check?
Mine all started after an incident where I had Whiplash. I can look back through my life and see signs where it had always been there but after the accident is when all the pain, HAs and pressure, tinnitus, and so on..... started.
Hi Travis welcome to the forum! sorry to hear you are going through this so young, and that you were rear-ended.
I agree with sleepypea, you need a updated MRI, and you should make the guy who read-ended you pays for it. You obviously were coping well until this happened, I am sorry to hear that this happened to you.
I wonder if your initial diagnosis occurred from something that inflamed you brain, like a concussion? Do you recall anything that could have started you symptoms, like contact sports? That could have been why the Chiari reduced a bit, then your symptoms resided.
When a person increases activity , your blood vessels enlarge. So in your head when you have already tight spaces and the vessels enlarge taking up more room you can have issues with your balance, vision, cognitive function ect. So I think what happens is the tissues inflame from the extra pressure with "waterhammer" mechanism that occurs with increase pulsation of cerebral spinal fluid and blood flow from increases in activity . Sometimes patients are prescribed steroids for the acute headache flairs because they are commonly associated with the inflammation of constant pressure.
I hope you are able to seek a specialist in Chiari Malformation, it is highly recommended to research your surgeon and if needed, get second opinions.
Good Luck to you, and keep us posted. Stacey
Hello Travis and welcome! There have been several studies done about this subject. In one study 25% of 370 patients cited trauma as the precipitating event. In another it was more like 60% of 250 patients. So YES is the answer. Like Stacey said it doesnt cause Chiari it precipitates it and causes it to become symptomatic.
This is also the case with me. Last August I had never heard of this condition before. I was rear ended by someone who wasnt paying attention too. Causing my symptoms to start up and have been deteriorating since. Surgery will be in March. Seek a specialist who devotes his practice to this condition. I def think a new MRI is in order.
Many of us at some point have had whip lash and or loss of cervical lordosis, which is the natural curve of ur neck...this change in the curve can cause megga pain....I know as I had this....
And as many have mentioned in their replies, yes, getting rearended can trigger a flareup of ur chiari symptoms...in fact if u didn't have chiari u could acquire it as a result of an injury like this....many times it resolves on its own....
As Pam suggested, find a true chiari specialist to guide u....we do have a list of drs, but it is not meant as a referral, but a means to help u start ur research...and FYI many of us do need to travel to get to a chiari dr.
Thank you all for your replys!
@Sleepypea - Right after the accident i went to the hopsital, and they said i did have whiplash, and since then it has been a downhill battle!
@Stacey - About the contact sports.. I was actually in a football game, got hit head on, and IMMEDIATELY got headaches, and didnt go away until about a month or two later! It was miserable! But i'd have to say it feels worse now.. And to top it off my back has been hurting extremely bad as well since the accident..
@Pam - Im afraid im going to have to get surgery as well.. It is not going away this time, and it is getting worse.. Should i get a lawyer and try and make the people pay for my surgery and all that? Or would that not work since I already have been diagnosed with chiari malformation..
@Selma - I do believe gettin rearended caused a flare up for sure! But im just not to sure as it is going to go away this time, and i cant keep living with this pain! I have the computer screen dimmed all the way, and i am still getting an excruciating headache from the light off of here!
Thank you all for you care, and concerns! I am scheduling a Dr. Appt for tomorrow hopefully to get an MRI of my back and neck.. I feel like im to young to be in this much pain!
I absolutely would have an attorney. I have one myself. The fact that you have been fine for years and now are having issues should be all you need. Consult with several and they can tell you what they can do. Usually, you dont pay till they collect so it cant hurt to get several opinions.
@Selma - Thank you so much for the information, Im going to check into that!
@Pam - I was thinking so as well. I hope they pay me good, if i have to get surgery one day over this its going to be expensive! How is it looking in your case though? Are they talking about compensating you over everything
Well at this point everything is on hold till after surgery and recovery. To make sure of the turnout. In NC the legal limit for bodily injury is only 30K for one person and that is what they had. They certainly dont seem to have any money to sue for. So that may be all there is. I had that many claims in Oct and Nov. Just having tests and trying to get my symptoms managed. Finding a Chiari specialist who has some experience with how Trauma can precipitate Chiari will be helpful because most docs will say they dont know. Mine wrote a letter for me with references about previous cases. A doctor is going to have to back you up on this. (That is where I got my information about previous studies).
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