I’m always looking for other reasons that cause migraines or headaches and came across this:
Chiari malformation is a congenital (i.e. present at birth) structural problem at the base of the skull that affects the brain and spinal cord. In fact it is not a malformation of the brain at all. More accurately, the lower portion of the skull, the portion known as the posterior fossa, is too small to accommodate the lower portion of the brain. As a result, a portion of the cerebellum called the tonsils is forced to protrude into the spinal column. This results in compression of the brain stem and spinal cord and interferes with the flow of spinal fluid. It is the compression of the brain stem and spinal cord that is primarily responsible for the symptoms. We have learned that compression that is sufficient to cause symptoms can occur even when the cerebellar tonsils protrude by as little as 1 millimeter.
Despite the fact that Chiari malformation is usually present at birth, the symptoms of the malformation are usually not experienced until adulthood, usually when the patient is in their 20s or 30s. Symptoms can develop sooner or later than this. Chiari malformation is often difficult to diagnose because the symptoms can be vague and so numerous that many doctors just can’t make sense of them.
The symptoms of Chiari malformation include:
- Headache – This is the most common symptom of Chiari malformation. The headache is often pressure like and usually begins in the back of the head often radiates behind the eyes. Coughing, laughing, bending forward, sneezing or looking up can worsen the headache. Headache may be confused with migraine.
There are many more symptoms listed, please see remainder of this article at “The Chiare Center”
I also found an online support group/forum for Chiari Malformation.