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!!
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.