Avatar universal

How to differentiate ?

Hello everyone :D

So I have chiari with very minimal herniation, and I'm having headaches.

My problem Is that I dont have any other symptoms. My headache is one sided (either right or left), starts at the back at the point where the neck and skull meet, and moves towards the front of the head.
Alot of the time it is just localized pain at the back between my head and neck and the pain is always one sided like a migrane, never been on both sides together.

My point is how can I know for sure if my headache is from chiari, my headache is NOT triggered by coughing sneezing etc.. like most of chiari people.

Thanks !

2 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi there...so sorry to hear you're having such painful headaches!
I was diagnosed in 2008, with a 4mm herniation on my first MRI. I had a HUGE work up from a reputable place that treats Chiari. On their MRI, 4 months later, my herniation was at 8mm. I believe each MRI is different due to who is reading it & where you have it done. I'm 5 weeks post op from my 2nd Chiari surgery. My headaches have NEVER been brought on by coughing or sneezing. However, laughing definitely does!
From what I've seen from others, we're all different as to what our symptoms are & what triggers our Chiari headaches.
I'm not a specialist, but for me, my headaches start in the back of my head and radiate to the front. My old Neurologist informed me that with Migraines, I would see flashes of  light or oras prior to the onset of the headache. If you check what the symptoms of migraine headaches are, it may answer some questions as well.
I feel it's important to know, as both of the headaches are treated differently.
In my opinion, SIZE DOESN'T MATTER! There are people who have a 1mm herniation & have extremely painful Chiari headaches & have MANY other painful, debilitating symptoms!
I hope this helps in some way!
Best of luck to you as you begin your journey with this horrible disorder!!
May I ask you if your headaches are one sided or on both sides ?

What I mean is that my headaches start at the back, but always on one side of the head ..

And please tell me how's things going with you after your operation !

Thanks alot for your help :D
620923 tn?1452915648
Hi, my headaches were always one side or the other as well.....

As LittleBarb65 mentioned  having a true Chiari specialist is key....they will look to see what is going on and rule out ALL related and non related conditions with similar symptoms.

It can be like a crap shoot in that surgery if deemed necessary does not always rid of us our symptoms....it is done to slow progression and return CSF flow.

I found that with each year that passed since my surgery, I have  discovered more and more benefits of the surgery....so, it is not possible to know close to being post op....as that is when you are healing and some symptoms fare due to the trauma of the surgery.....but as with anything time heals.

Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Chiari Malformation Community

Top Neurology Answerers
620923 tn?1452915648
Allentown, PA
987762 tn?1331027953
1756321 tn?1547095325
Queensland, Australia
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Find out how beta-blocker eye drops show promising results for acute migraine relief.
In this special Missouri Medicine report, doctors examine advances in diagnosis and treatment of this devastating and costly neurodegenerative disease.
Here are 12 simple – and fun! – ways to boost your brainpower.
Discover some of the causes of dizziness and how to treat it.
Discover the common causes of headaches and how to treat headache pain.
Two of the largest studies on Alzheimer’s have yielded new clues about the disease