Chiari Malformation Community
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1679858 tn?1346768781

What causes symptoms to flare after exercise

I am very confused about the cause of an increase in symptoms after yoga.  I have realized that it must be the straining that yoga puts on your neck and shoulder area...it is much more of a strengthening activity than I first thought!  After a class, I feel so immensely fatigued, and the brain fog increases, the numbness on my face returns, and my neck and shoulder blade area are tight and in some pain.  OK, I'm told I have not got a problem with csf obstruction, nor a sprinx in cervical spine (I know, Selma, that I have to ask about the thoracic spine too).
I am ok most days, really very few headaches (don't get chiari headaches) so I would love to know what is happening when I exercise and these feeling increase!!! I just keep trying to help myself get stronger only to find myself getting worse.  To make matters worse, I feel that my doctors think I am a nutbar by now, and my GP knows nothing about Chiari so he can't answer my questions.  I asked him recently about pain in my arms and legs and somehow we got on to a low blood sugar topic and he sent me away. Then I called my neurologist about the leg and arm pain and he said to see your GP!!  I feel so alone, trying to figure every little symptom out by myself (or with your help)! Do any of you know the reason for increased sypmtoms after straining and what causes it?
8 Responses
Avatar universal
the same happens to me when i do yoga. anything involving bending my back really does me in. i told my neurologist about my shoulders and neck burning and being sore a lot and he said it wasn't related to my chiari which obviously isn't true. so i'm looking forward to the answer to this question too!
1996562 tn?1330341439
I was watching a video the other day from a neurosurgeon talking about a young girl who was getting paralyzed every time she did a back-flip or something like that. The subject of the video was about cervical/craniocervical fusion. I'm just guessing here but with these workouts you are doing you are probably directly putting pressure on nerves with your bones. This can be very dangerous if you have cranial instability or something like basilar invagination. I had the same problems when I did something as simple as tai chi. If I were you, I would seriously take it easy until you know exactly what's going on. I know it's boring but is it really worth all the pain?
1925822 tn?1333709217
This is definetly chiari...bending and straining triggers symptoms.as for the moment i dont work out anymore!!! Take it easy really
1679858 tn?1346768781
Thanks for your replies!  I think yoga is out, even though my neurologist suggested I keep it up.  I think he was more concerned about keeping me calm, but he has prob never done a class himself, haha.  I am 50 next month, but I have always exercised (on and off) and know that it has a lot of benefits, so I'm not ready to give up!  I agree with Billyz, about the pressure on nerves etc...it makes sense, since I don't have csf problems. I am going to try spinning classes...have done a few lately and they don't affect me the same because there is no straining of the neck! Everywhere I read about Chiari, they tell you not to strain because it can cause symptoms to flare, but nowhere have I read an explaination as to WHY this happens.  Maybe it's because no one really knows?  This is seriously so frustrating to feel as though you can never get answers. Irislita, I agree with you too, it IS the Chiari, even if we have to figure this out for ourselves.
1996562 tn?1330341439
Isn't spinning kind of intense?  Obviously you can do whatever you want, I just want to warn you that this strenuous activity can reallly make things worse. My experience is a bit of an extreme but I'll share it anyways...

  I had to move out of a fourth floor apartment that was all stairs about a year ago. I did about 90% of the moving because I take Adderall, and I can do freakin anything for certain periods of time haha. The pain and fever I went through following this was insane and it lasted for about a month. All I could do was just sit or lay there and hope. The ER dismissed me, My PCP told me I had fibromyalgia, and then I got the shingles. To sum it up...It was something that I hope nobody in this world ever has to go through.

  My best advice is to listen to your body at all times. Eat an extremely good diet, I recommend Amy's Organic anything and Anything like Odwalla Organic Juices (yes that ugly green one too :P), and I like Cliff bars but some people don't like them. Best of luck darling<3
620923 tn?1452919248

  Hi...I think Billy hit it 2x's now that I have to agree with...I am thinking EDS could be an issue for u which could cause the cervical instability if u have it, and that could account for some of ur issues....and I would not advise a regular spinning class as the way u sit on a bike puts more strain on ur back, neck and shoulder area....if u want to pedal, use a recumbent bike....it is better on ur back and neck, and no handle bars to gripe.

Not having reg chiari HA's is not always an indication u r better off then someone else that has them...it just means u r being affected differently.

  R ne of the Drs that have seen u a chiari specialist?....
1679858 tn?1346768781
I live in Canada so getting to a NS is not an easy task -- you have to go to your GP, then he refers you to a neuro, then if necessary, you see a NS. All is done on a priority basis, and since none of the above feel my symptoms are Chiari related, it is difficult to go to them complaining of Chiari symptoms when nothing has changed on my mri's. My last NS visit was last June, and although I have a 13 - 17mm herniation, he said none of my symptoms were Chiari and to go on with my life and do whatever I wanted. Soooo, I have been trying to do that!  My last mri in January included the cervical spine, which showed some mild to moderate osteo arthritis (sp), and a few buldging discs, all of which were said to be normal findings for my age.  Billy does sound like a smart dude, haha, he got me thinking that it might be possible for a disc in my neck to be pinching a nerve, and causeing flares for a couple days after yoga.  It all lasts about 3 days and then calms down.  I was on a site this morning looking at cervical spondylosis, www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000436.htm Medline Plus is the site, It is basically worn down discs that can press down on one or more nerve roots, possibly when doing my yoga. Symptoms can be pain in shoulder blade and may spread to the upper arm, forearm or fingers, which are my symptoms, although I also get very foggy and extremely tired. It can be worse after sitting for a long period, or after sleeping (my experience as well). I just wanted to go into detail with this for Thrice3 as it may be something worth mentioning to your doctor. Of course, I am not a doctor and I just saw my GP last week :S so I will take all of your advice and take it easy for a while and see what happens when relaxing a little more...my little Jack Russel won't mind a few more walks!  Thanks for your advice everyone!
1679858 tn?1346768781
PS, Yes, my NS is considered the best in Toronto and on the Chiari list. That said, I have had such a hard time believing his words.  He did say that many people who discover their Chiari later on, don't get serious symptoms and can usually manage them, however, I see from being a member here that that is not always the case.  I also want to be open minded, as hard as that is, that maybe the doctors are right, and it is something else that is causing the symtoms.  
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