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Chiari Support is an online support group for patients, friends and families affected by Chiari Malformations.

Chiari malformation, is usually present at birth and occurs at the back of the head where the brain and spinal cord connect.

There are four types of Chiari malformations:
Type 1 – occurs when the base of the skull and upper spinal area do not form properly. A type 1 Chiari malformation commonly goes unnoticed until problems arise in the adolescent or adult years of life. The headaches most typical of Chiari I malformations are usually located at the back of the head, and are often made worse by exertion.

Type 2 – sometimes known as an Arnold-Chiari malformation, a type 2 Chiari malformation is caused by part of the back of the brain shifting downward through the bottom of the skull. it is seen in infants who are born with spina bifida and can also be associated with hydrocephalus, a condition in which there is an overproduction or lack of absorption of the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF).
Type 3 – occurs when the back of the brain protrudes out of an opening in the back of the skull area.

Type 4 – occur when the back of the brain fails to develop normally.
Children with Chiari I malformations may start to have symptoms as early as age 2 or 3. Some don’t have any symptoms until they are older. Symptoms can appear any time. They may start or get worse after a trauma, physical effort or straining, such as exercising, coughing or sneezing.
Syringomyelia, common with Chiari, is a cyst in the center of the spinal cord that is filled with fluid. The cyst, also called a syrinx, can get larger and longer over time, putting pressure on the spinal cord and causing symptoms. If not treated, it may also eventually cause nerve damage.

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Hi I was diagnosed with chiari type 1 . I have a incredibly annoying , nerve wracking lump every time I swallow. Is this part of chiari? Is there anything I can do about it that will help. Please.

I can definitely relate to this and have burnt my throat from being unable to swallow. I am generally really careful with food and only eat when it’s warm but occasionally I will get a hot that just seems to lodge in the back of my throat. It’s almost like my throat paralyizes, my gage reflex won’t work and there’s nothing I can do but stop, relax and stay calm h til it’s passed. It’s not pleasant that’s for sure