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Working out weight lifting

I have a 5 mm chiari - I have a vast array of symptoms - headache, imbalance, tingling, sometimes speech difficulties - other times I feel perfectly normal. My neurosurgeon who is a chiari specialist said I am NOT a candidate for surgery at this time and he also told me that I could work out and lift weights even if it does hurt. He said I am not hurting anything, it just may hurt while I am exercising...

thoughts on the matter???

also - any good medicines that work for multiple symptoms in Chiari? Thanks
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1314344 tn?1274843421
I do cardio, weights, and videos, as long as they doesn't hurt anything.  It doesn't seem to do any damage, and I always feel better after. Maybe it gets the CSF flowing better, who knows.  And I think the strength training helps make up for other deficits CM can cause.
Helpful - 0
620923 tn?1452915648
COMMUNITY LEADER
Since he/she is not a chiari specialist I would not listen...Straining is no good even with a BM, so lifting weights is a NO NO!!

It can cause ur symptoms to flare and by adding that strain, who knows, u may develop new symptoms.

I would not do it, if I were u....

Sorry, I am sure that is not what u wanted to hear...just MHO tho,.

I did not find a med that helped my symptoms some may take the edge off, but then it leaves u more off balance.....

"selma"
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1179332 tn?1297478990
I'm sorry but I have to totally disagree with what your NS told you....

My opinion comes from personal experience only...but I strongly believe that lifting weights and running is what caused my symptoms to rapidly snowball. In Jan 09 I was experiencing weakness and pain running down my arm and by early April it had spread into my legs causing a awkward, spastic gait along with a 40+ symptom list..I will add that no one had any idea that I had Chiari...I was just constantly ignored when I complained of symptoms and told to keep working out. You have the advantage of knowing and I would use that advantage...I found in particular..any above the head lifting was very damaging...However, I would say that it did cause me pain...but I just thought it was normal muscle pain after working out...now I realized that my neck and arm pain would become more severe after each workout. Please tread carefully with your body..you could go from not being a candidate to needing surgery in a very short amount of time. On the other side of this...it is important to make sure you stay active and healthy too..check out the health page links..there is some good advice on there.

As for meds, I am currently on gabapentin, more for lingering nerve damage pain post op...I have seen a little improvement but not on a large scale. There is another thread running on here about the different meds ppl are using so you may want to check that out.

Carolyn
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Avatar universal
Thank you all for your replies...
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Avatar universal
Do you mind me asking have you had surgery yet? I have not as was interested with your exercise regime if this is post PFD or prior? Thanks
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1314344 tn?1274843421
I have not had surgery yet, but it looks like I am the odd one out here, so if it has caused problems for others, then I would be cautious.  

And I don't know when surgery will be.  After 20 years of neurological symptoms and vision damage, my neuro finally saw the chiari, and it looks like it goes down like 2 inches or something.  But then later I found out he got kind of cold to me about it and changed his mind.  So I'm getting ready to consult with other doctors.
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999891 tn?1407276076
Straining can increase CSF pressure, if there is an obstruction then this could lead to problems. Some with CM also have problems with vertebra and disc in the cervical spine such as degeneration leaving this area unstable so exercise or manipulation could be potentiality dangerous. I would proceed with care where lifting weights is involved.

Ray    
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Avatar universal
when i went for my consultation my husband mentioned that i was doing decorating around the house. The ns turned to me and said you are not allowed to lift anything heavier than a plate as this will make your symptons worse. This is alot easier said than done but i do notice when i try and do physical things my symptons do indeed become worse.
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Avatar universal
Was that after surgery or just in general? Wow - it is amazing the vast contrast between doctors orders for Chiari...My NS - Dr. Ellenbogen is recognized by WACMA as being one of the top 10 Doctors in the field of CHIARI...He's on there board - and he told me all exercise and lifting should cause is pain - exerbation but no long term prob's - Shows there is so much to be learned about Chiari...He also said I don't need surgery now (5mm>) so I sent out info to Dr. Oro, TCI and Dr. Di. If they all say I'm not surgical either then I guess it's live with this huh...Frustrating!
Helpful - 0
1179332 tn?1297478990
That's a good point to think about too...if they say you are not surgical..and that weight lifting won't damage you but may exerbate your symptoms...then you definitely don't want to do that anyway!! If you have to live with the symptoms, you definitely want to make sure that you aren't flaring that up on purpose. From my experience...a lot of things like hereditary or progression...NS will say one thing but when you start talking to people, you see the results from personal experience...honestly, I just don't think they know enough about Chiari...

Carolyn
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620923 tn?1452915648
COMMUNITY LEADER
I agree with Carolyn's last post...u may not be a candidate now and u certainly do not want to be rush into an OR via the ER and get some NS on call.....Dr E is well recognized, but just like MRI reports the radiologist gives his educated opinion....if u have 10 chiari drs u will have 10 diff opinions on some of these issues as to what is safe ect...but u did see they all agree u r not at the surgery threshold yet.

Knowing u can  get more things afterward it is a gamble and only taken when the benefits out weight the risk. I went yrs not know I had chiari, but knew I had something....and I am sure if tested back then I would have gotten the same thing...not a candidate...

But, I did compensate for the way my body reacted to things and I stopped doing things I loved......soo u have to look at it full circle and go the way u feel ur body can deal.

"selma"
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Avatar universal
I Lift Myself I'm  Over 200 Lbs ...  The Strain Of Lifting Myself Is 100 x's Better Than Tilting My Head Backward ... Tilting Head Back Is Murder
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Avatar universal
Any Lifting Puts Pressure On The Neck
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