Chiari Malformation Community
Does Exercise make any of you feel better?
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Does Exercise make any of you feel better?

Crazy question for all those out there...It seems I've been living with a vast array of chiari symptoms for years...just recently diagnosed. I am a healthy 32 year old male lift weights often and try to eat right (we all cheat a little, right). I have been given the choice to have surgery with Dr. Di and was scheduled for November but due to family scheduling probs and my health being good I have delayed surgery...

We'll now to the point - Does anyone actually feel better after exercise??? I lift weights - heavy weights at that. Every Neuro specialist I have seen for Chiari has said it is up to me and shouldn't worsen my probs...Usually while I am lifting symptoms might worsen temporarily (dizziness, speech) yet when I am done I feel much much better. Sometimes for a couple days. ANYONE else experience this phenomenon? Very strange

I do notice about this time a year my symptoms get worse - but I live in Seattle - and the change of season/weather from sunny to rain/cloudy I go from feeling good (90% most days) to borderline (50-70%)...But exercise for the most part helps me

Any input or advice on the matter would be appreciated!

Praying for you all

DAWGS
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11 Comments Post a Comment
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Not I. Exercise wipes me out, any kind of serious exertion will bring on a horrific headache. I've tried using my recumbent bike for exercise, and I can't even tolerate that. I'm in horrible shape now. My only exercise is the little housekeeping I do and walking around grocery stores, etc. It's terrible. I need to get into aquatherapy after my surgery and get into better shape. I like aquatherapy since it doesn't kill my arthritic joints, including my vertebra.
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992677_tn?1337358095
Emotionally I feel better perhaps more complete. However, it starts severe pains though my neck, shoulder and right arm that last for days. Dizziness and tremor type feelings ensue normally within minutes that also last days. Post op these symptoms have improved but can't go back to where I was by any means. Now it's just a total gym. Cycling seems ok on days when I'm not dizzy but even that I can't push it as I did a few years back.
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1451338_tn?1316106367
Same here. Emotionally, I feel as though I finally accomplished something, but I am exhausted after I exercise and usually very dizzy. It's a catch 22. My doctors tell me that I'm overweight and that I just need to exercise because all my issues are from being overweight, and I try telling them that I would LOVE to go for a run! I love to run! But, when I get dizzy 2 miles away from home...how exactly is that helping me??? But, since the docs are convinced that my sx are not chiari related, they just tell me to hydrate extra or just push through it because I'm obviously not used to exercise and I must be in pain because my body isn't "used" to exercise. The ignorance of doctors really frustrates me.
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620923_tn?1405964489
I am so  happy to hear this works for u....unfortunately, I lost upper body strength regardless of how active I was, or what I did...and the heavier things were the longer I paid for it later.

This is something I really want to do, but have yet to find an exercise that I can do comfortably...and I mean with in reason.....

I had a routine I did for a few yrs...and slowly was unable to do it ....I do not feel it was all chiari...as I remember that my stomach issues were a factor.

Knowing we r all different, and that our herniations and blockages r diff....could be a reason this works for u and mayb not for others.

I pray it continues to be a positive for u....please keep us posted on ur progress!!

"selma"
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1159737_tn?1286520857
Before my symptoms really started I exercised every day about two hrs. I was in great shape, then as the chiari progressd, the less I could exercise. That's what sent me to the doctor was one day I was exercising, and I got a horrible pain in my head, and it the next day, so I went to the doctor.
Of course at the time they said it was nothing, but it took a good three years after that to get my dx then the surgery. I could not exercise befe my surgey. It would make me hurt, and it seemed like that would take all my energy fr he day. leaving me unable to do AYTHING else. I gained a good 50 lbs.
Now, I just started back into exercising last week, just doing power walking, with push ups against the bench so as not to strain my neck, and standing crunches, and I take  hand weights with me and every 1/2 mile do arm exercises. I am able to do it now, finally, but I am not ready to go back to the vigorous jogging and such that I used to do. It makes me a little tired, but I def. feel better exercising than not exercising. That's why I like power walking with doing the push ups and arms - it it very low impact, you still are doing good for your heart, and losing weight too.
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1388357_tn?1280193093
I had been swimming four times per week at the onset of my symptoms.  I would get headaches and just think I worked out too hard & didn't eat enough or something.  (I got really good at finding things to blame symptoms on... low blood sugar, low iron, too much sun, etc.)  January was when the terrible neck pain hit me.  I stopped swimming altogether in April, was dx in May all this year.  I don't have the energy to get to the pool.  My neck & head hurt already and I just don't want to make it worse.  I haven't gained any weight, thanks to the nausea that decided to show up along with the other symptoms!

I do walk my dogs usually once a day, so at least I have that bit of exercise.  They won't let me stay home, the spoiled little stinkers - they tag-team badger me until I take them out!

With surgery less than two weeks away, I'm hoping for a uneventful recovery and look forward to getting back to some gentle swimming after I'm healed up enough.  I don't like this life of a slug - it's just not my style.  I do miss how I used to feel when I was on a regular routine.

Is that an answer???  Sorry... I really do miss it.

Lisa
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1457025_tn?1290027240
I feel great right after I am done exercising, I normally go around nine pm. However the next day I always pay for it. Pressure in my head doesn't go away the entire day. I had a NS tell me to lose weight to help my CM, and my gp wants me to keep it up, so I go to the gym 3-6 times a week and do cardio at least an hour. As long as I am not falling off of the treadmill I keep pushing myself, the hardest is I know I will pay for it later. I wish I felt better after for days!!! So interesting how our symptoms are different!
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1063386_tn?1287882169
Not here. Any form of activity does me in.  I miss my exercise routine an have tried many times to get back into it and I pay for it shortly after


I am so glad to hear it works for u though. I think we all have different things that help and I am truly glad u have found one and a benificial one at that.

I also go to Dr Di. It makes me feel good to know someone travels so far for his care as I am am Ohio resident myself and he was choosen put of location.

Change of season is really getting to me too. I didn't know what to expect as last year at this time I was just starting with symptoms in the first place and as the warmer weather moved in I thought I was getting better. But than cold front after cold front this fall has left me completely useless most days I see now I am much worse than last year.  I have atributed it to the low pressure rain and cold bring and the increase on ICP. And with already littlle room for error in that region everything is intensified.  


Good luck to u and I hope u can continue to feel well
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Avatar_m_tn
Before my decompression last year I had got to the point that walking to the door to let my dogs out exhausted me. After my surgery with Dr. Di. I am back to jogging again and it brings me great joy! Some days are easier than others but I always finish my run! I am a 69 y/o. So know it can be done!
Sandy
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620923_tn?1405964489
Hi Sandy...thanks for the inspirational endorsement!!!

Wow....69 and u run.,..that is fantastic...I am so happy to hear the positives...so many say all they can find on the web is terrible accounts of what happened with surgery.

Thanks again : )

"selma"
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1388357_tn?1280193093
That's awesome!  It gives me hope for what lies ahead!

Lisa
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