A chiari malformation is a defect in the base of your brain and spinal cord that puts pressure on your cerebellum.
The part of your brain that control balance is called the cerebellum. Part of the brain drops into the spinal cord hindering the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (a fluid that bathes your brain and spinal cord).
Most chiari malformations develop during fetal development. In rarer cases they may occur later in life due to injury, infection or exposure to harmful chemicals or substances.
Some people experience no symptoms with chiari malformation. Other may experience:
- Balance and coordination problems
- Vision problems
- Muscle weakness
- Problems with swallowing
In the first instance an MRI or CT scan may be ordered to accurately diagnose this condition. Medication to control any pain may also be prescribed. A surgical procedure to relieve the pressure call decompression may be recommended.