Chiari Malformation sometimes referred to as Arnold Chiari Malformation is a condition of the base of the brain and spinal cord in which the tonsils of the cerebellum herniate through a circle of bone, the Foramen Magnum, into an area alongside the spinal cord. This can compress the spinal cord and also restrict Cerebrospinal Fluid flow. Symptoms can include: balance problems, nausea, visual disturbances, problems swallowing, tingling/numbness in the fingers, hands and feet, dizziness, tinnitus, hearing problems, head pain made worse when coughing, laughing or straining.
Syringomyelia and Chiari Malformations are separate conditions which often happen together. In some cases surgery may be performed after careful consultation with the patient’s neurosurgeon. Non-surgical treatment includes pain management and physiotherapy.