I had a whiplash in 2007, then just when my whiplash symptoms were getting better, had a blow to the top of the head in later 2007, which exacerbated my symptoms. I often get a tight feel at the base of the skull, with pressure headaches, worse as the day goes on. I've been to two PT's who when I mentioned my symptoms, said it's possible that could be a diagnosis. Probably not, but possible. I had an MRI done in June 2007, then Jan 2008 (brain and cervical) which showed only mild herniation at c5-6 but that is not causing me any pain. When I feel this pressure/tightness at the base of my skull I can almost feel it behind my nose, too. I'm really scared - going to have a second opinion of my MRI. It could also just be that my suboccipital muscles are locked up and spasming, as one of the muscle in my neck is hypertonic. I feel better than I did 6 months ago, but it's a slow process. Just started more therapy in April so I'm hoping to get some relief. Just wondering if CM can occur after a blow to the head or if it's mainly something you're born with. Thanks
Okay, I'm not a doctor or anything, but I've been researching all this since I was diagnosed. With that said:
Chiari Malformation is congenital. You can't actually get it from whiplash. You can get a similar effect, but not exactly Chiari.
However, a wreck can "jumpstart" Chiari symptoms. The problem is, the list of symptoms is pretty lengthy. A lot of Chiarians have different symptoms. Mine were/are dizziness, headaches, numbness in legs and hands, memory loss, fatigue, back pain etc. I've heard of others with vision-loss, a feeling of a "stuffed head", paralysis, among others.
If a neurologist looked at your MRI and was actually looking for Chiari, he/she would most likely have seen it.
Also, generally, you don't start feeling better once the symptoms start. It's usually a downword spiral until you get surgery, which mostly just stops the spiral. Seldom do you get "better". You just stop getting worse. Although symptoms can be alleviated.
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