1/21/08 #4 - Arnold Chiari malformation and Migraines?

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  • Full Question:
    Does your clinic treat patients with Arnold Chiari and migraines? How do you separate the two types of pain if at all? Are both conditions handled with the same treatments and preventions or should each be handled separately and the treatment steps be integrated? What if any recommendations might you suggest?


    I had decompression surgery in Nov 06 after which the doctors were then able to discover that I also had underlying migraines. At this point I am still recovering from the surgery (recovery time estimated to be 1 year) and trying to treat the migraines. I am still dealing with a heaviness/pain on the back left side of my head and neck area. Before the surgery I suffered from pain on the entire back of the head and neck/shoulder areas. My migraines are a bit different in that they begin at the temples or top of my head and increase like my head is in a vice grip at which point I begin to get nauseated and dizzy/faint feeling.

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    Thank you for any advice or recommendations, Elizabeth.




    Dear Elizabeth;


    I feel for what you have been going through. I have seen many people who have had the diagnoses of Arnold–Chiari malformation with accompanying headaches both before and after the surgery. In some ways, these headaches are quite difficult to treat. However, if they behave like Migraines and respond to Migraine-specific medication, then treatment should be fairly straightforward. If there are more than one days’ disability per week, then prophylaxis therapy should probably be considered. Nausea should always be treated. Seek out a headache expert for assistance.


    Good-luck in your search for answers,
    John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert


    If you need to find a headache and Migraine specialist, please see our listing of patient recommended specialists.


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    Dr. Krusz is a recognized expert in the fields of headache and Migraine treatment and pain treatment. Each week, he and Lead Expert Teri Robert, team up to answer your questions about headaches and Migraines. You can read more about Dr. Krusz or more about Teri Robert.


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    © Teri Robert and J.C. Krusz, 2007.

    Last updated January 21, 2008.

Published On: January 21, 2008