Chiari malformation

Arnold-Chiari malformation, CM, A Chiari, syringomyelia, hindbrain hernia, Chiari I, Chiari II, Chiari III, Chiari IV

What is Chiari malformation?

A Chiari malformation is where part of the brain pushes down into the spine.

What causes Chiari malformation?

The exact cause of Chiari malformations is unknown, but it is often present from birth. Sometimes, surgery may be recommended to stop symptoms getting worse.

What are the symptoms of Chiari malformation?

Not all people with a Chiari malformation will have symptoms. If they do, these may include:

  • headaches
  • neck pain
  • muscle weakness
  • numbness or tingling in the arms or legs

Are you affected by Chiari malformation?

If you’re affected by Chiari malformation, The Brain Charity can support you.

We are the only charity in the UK to be here for every one of the more than 600 different neurological conditions in existence. Individually, many are rare, but combined, they affect 1 in 6 people.

We provide practical help on all aspects of living with Chiari malformation, emotional support such as counselling, phone befriending and group therapy and social activities to people with Chiari malformation from all over the UK from our centre in Liverpool.

Looking to talk to someone?

Woman smiling, making eye contact and holding the hand of another woman to comfort her

Phone us

Contact The Brain Charity now

Our friendly Information & Advice Officers are here to help. We endeavour to respond to all enquiries within 10 working days.

0151 298 2999

Looking to talk to someone?

  • Please tell us which neurological condition you are affected by and what you need support with.

Caring for someone with Chiari malformation

We support carers, friends and family too

Are you a carer for or relative of someone with Chiari malformation? It’s just as important for you to look after your own physical and mental wellbeing too.

The Brain Charity provides free support for carers, friends and family of people with any form of neurological condition, including Chiari malformation, from anywhere in the UK.

We also run an additional carers advocacy service for all carers in Liverpool, regardless of which type of condition the person they care for has.

You don’t need to be a formal or registered carer

We can help you even if you don’t view yourself as a formal carer or claim Carer’s Allowance. Find out some of the ways we support carers below.

Other resources

The Brain Charity's library

The library at The Brain Charity has a range of resources on Chiari malformation and on a wide range of disability-related issues.

Support groups

Patient and carer events (The Brain & Spine Foundation)

Facebook group (The Brain & Spine Foundation)

Support groups at The Brain Charity

Are you interested in setting up a Chiari malformation support group, or do you already run one? Email to let us know.

Alternatively, you can check out our list of support groups here.

Other charities

Ann Conroy Trust (charity working to increase understanding of syringomyelia, Chiari malformation and associated conditions)

Tel: 0300 111 0004