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Thread: Arnold-Chriari syndrome

  1. #1

    Default Arnold-Chriari syndrome

    Hey everyone, I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations or clarification on training a client with Arnold-Chiari syndrome. If I'm not mistaken, this is where a portion of the cerebellum is extended into the spinal cord and causes extreme migraines. My cousin, who was diagnosed, was told by her doctor that lifting anything heavy was out of the question. Now, I know that is the stupidest advice any doctor has ever given, but I would like to know if there is any real risk to putting her on the starting strength program as she wants to get stronger and out of her sedentary lifestyle. Thanks so much!

  2. #2
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    No experience with this obviously rare condition. We'll axe.

    Starting Strength Seminars

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alec Ross View Post
    Hey everyone, I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations or clarification on training a client with Arnold-Chiari syndrome. If I'm not mistaken, this is where a portion of the cerebellum is extended into the spinal cord and causes extreme migraines. My cousin, who was diagnosed, was told by her doctor that lifting anything heavy was out of the question. Now, I know that is the stupidest advice any doctor has ever given, but I would like to know if there is any real risk to putting her on the starting strength program as she wants to get stronger and out of her sedentary lifestyle. Thanks so much!
    Would obviously depend on the severity of the herniation and the patient's symptoms. Most people found to have arnold-chiari malformations were found as an incidental finding on advanced imaging.

  4. #4

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    Find out whether there actually is an Arnold-Chiari malformation. There should be measurements of how low the cerebellum goes and whether other associated malformations are present as well. Half of the "Arnold-Chiari" patients I see just have migraines and the A-C diagnosis is BS. Some people's cerebellums just ride low. That being said, valsalva is a problem for legitimate A-C.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Will Morris View Post
    Would obviously depend on the severity of the herniation and the patient's symptoms. Most people found to have arnold-chiari malformations were found as an incidental finding on advanced imaging.
    My aunt just had an operation for this in the past year. This whole time they thought she had MS, the fluids been dripping down her spine and causing nerve damage. Must have had it her entire life apparently.

  6. #6
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    After an MRI I was told I have this condition. I do tend to get a lot of headaches. On the other hand, I have never had it impact me to a significant degree beyond the pain of the headache. Bottom line: took Tylenol, aspirin, or nsaid and kept going. On a few occasions, I had to stop doing something because of the pain but that is more rare. In other words, I let pain be my guide for the activity.

  7. #7
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    Falls squarely in the "who the fuck knows?" category. Austin and I have talked about this. We agreed we'd be a bit too freaked out to take on a client with real A-C.

  8. #8

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    I have Arnold Chiari malformation syndrome Type 1. Type 2 is the more serious version, so ask first which version your client has. Anecdotally, I've been training with weights since I was 16 (now 49)--all basic barbell movements. I have no balance issues (a common occurance with Arnold Chiari) and feel very athletic for my age...so basically no symptoms. By comparison, my mother has the same diagnosis, has never exercised and at age 74 has significant balance issues to the point that she has trouble navigating stairs, etc.... Like Jordan says....Barbell medicine.

  9. #9

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    Chalk up another vote from someone with one - I had one discovered a few years ago when I got an MRI to rule out any weird tumors or such after I started losing my hearing. As noted above, there are multiple types, and I have the most benign (Type I) - have nasty migraines on occasion, though I was told since age 5 that it was a result of nasty spinal meningitis way back in the day. Who knows.

    Anyway, never stopped me from getting my squat to the mid 300's and deadlift awful close to 400 when I hit my mid-40's...

  10. #10
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    Well, that's two data points I didn't have before. Very interesting.

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