Chiari Malformation Community
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Avatar universal

can it be Chiari ?

so for the past 5 months have been having these severe head pains at the back of my lower head. These trigger when I cough and pain remains there. Am taking 2 x solpadeine almost a day and sometimes I take even 4 or 6. I did a CT Scan 2 months ago but it came normal. Around 3 weeks ago I started to get hissing in my ears especially when I wake up. I have seen several doctors from cardiologists, to endocrinologist to neurologists and seem for them if solpadeine is helping I can continue taking them :S

One of them at least booked me an MRI of the skull just for the benefit of the doubt but he kept saying if CT Scan was normal there is a 99.9% that your MRI will be normal too.

I suffer as well from these conditions: Sleep apnea, hypertension, diverticulitis, IBS, sinus tachycardia
12 Responses
620923 tn?1452915648

  Hi Maltaguy and welcome to the Chiari forum.

Do you have copies of your MRI? If not, do request a copy...not sure if where you are you can get them like we can here but worth a try..and a copy of the report can be helpful too. Going forward always ask for copies...we find it not only helps with 2nd and 3rd opinions but it helps us research our own health issues.

Chiari is a congenital malformation of the skull...meaning we are born this way.....and most likely have always had symptoms but considered them "normal" or passed them off as due to other things like colds, flu or over doing it.....and we do not take notice until the pains increase.

The symptoms you mention above can be symptoms of Chiari but also many other conditions....

And even tho your Drs told you the CT and MRI were "normal" it is possible they do not recognize Chiari as a possible issue and over look it.

If you do have Chiari pain meds do not help and being on them will only lessen the effectiveness of pain meds should you need surgery for any issue or condition you may have. So, if you can try to notice when your symptoms flare to see if a certain activity is  a  trigger.

When do you have the MRI?

Avatar universal
Hi Selma thanks for the reply. My MRI is scheduled for next Thursday so not yet done. I did only a CT Scan 2 months ago. As regards pain it is on a daily basis at the back of my head.
620923 tn?1452915648

  Did you have an injury that may have triggered the pain?...or any added stress?

You can acquire Chiari due to a trauma to the head or neck area.
Avatar universal
no I had no injury but am noticing like a bump at the lower of my neck and don`t know if it is normal and another one just where my back skull ends. To be honest am confused on what I have. Doctors say its not a tumor as it would have shown on CT Scan, some said it is stress from work that I get these headaches. It is true that at work have loads of stress but my head pain starts when I cough and pain is always on my right, low back of my head and sometimes feel the pain radiating to the upper back of my mouth.
620923 tn?1452915648

  Well definitely try to get copies of all testing you have as well as the reports....

The bump could be a muscle that has twisted and that could cause a lot of pain.....

You were never in a MVA or anything like that?hmmm

And you never had these pains before when you would cough?...How about after or during a bowel movement,Sneezing or laughing?
Avatar universal
no I never had the problem of coughing and get this pain. Yes get same when I sneeze
620923 tn?1452915648

  I am trying to determine if you might have had symptoms before you actually noticed them....seeing how far back you may have had pain but thought it might be something else causing it.....

Avatar universal
only tachycardia and hypertension I had before
620923 tn?1452915648

Did they do a tilt table test? I am wondering if you might have POTS with those symptoms too.....
Avatar universal
Selma I did not do the table test for POTS. I have had always sinus tachycardia.
620923 tn?1452915648

  Well it should be looked at for POTS with it....again many of these are congenital conditions....so it makes sense if you always had that.

I used to have what I called heart palps, but since my decompression for Chiari I no longer get it.....
Disappointed today as even my MRI came normal. I seem to have a bump at the back of my head under the scalp in the centre. Do not know if this is normal but it is where I get the pain when I cough. Besides my lower back part of my neck have a bump too and when I turn my head I sense crackling sound. Hissing in my ears still remain all time and head pain at the back persist each day and only relieved with solpadein.
this is the MRI result:

T2, Flair axial, T1 3D, T2 sagittal, DWI/ADC maps of the brain obtained

Normal celebral grey/white matter differentiation with no focal lesion detected

There is no evidence of restricted diffusion

corpus callosum, pituitary, optic chiasm, brainstem and cerebellum appear unremarkable

normal ventricles and basal cisterns

the expected major intracranial flow voids are normally visualised

conclusion: no significant intracranial abnormality is detected
620923 tn?1452915648

  I know it is both frustrating and disappointing to be told the results are "normal".....did you get a copy of the MRI?

If not, do request one from the facility that did the studies....not your Dr as he may charge you.....

If you can figure out how to upload the MRI's let us know....some of us can recognize issues some Drs are not aware are Chiari related.....and I would also suggest making copies and sending them out for other opinions.
Thanks Selma. Yes I shall ask for a copy of the scans which will be in hand in 3 days
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620923 tn?1452915648
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