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So I have been trying to do some research on if massage therapy can help ease pain and discomfort in patients with Chiari malformation. My mom was diagnosed about 7 years ago! And had decompression surgery in her C1-C5. I want to be able to help her with her pain but don’t know for sure if it is safe to work on her. I got in contact with someone from ABMP Andy they directed me here. Hope someone can help, thank you
Why not just ask her doctor or surgeon?
In my practice I would not do work on her without a doctors note.
Best of Luck,
I have worked on two clients with a history of Chiari malformation with corrective surgery. For both it has been 10+ years since the surgery. Neither one mentions any issues with the surgical site nor mentioned any pain or physical restriction due to the condition. I usually do a very gentle neck massage, if requested.
When in doubt, Ajay's suggestion is the best: contact her physician to determine the cause of pain and if decide if massage is indicated for her condition.
If you do contact the physician or give her massage, would you post your treatment protocol and your mother's response to the massage. It would be valuable information for anyone with a Chiari malformation client. Thanks.
Chiari malformation was part of both clients's history. Both had corrective surgery many years ago and both did not present chiari as a medical or massage issue. We worked on other problems during their sessions.
I am sorry, I am not much help other than to say that chiari was part of their medical history, but never a complaint. Because I had no information on the surgery details, I would not do any range of motion to the head or neck, only gentle relaxation massage to the head. I often thought scar tissue release would be beneficial (Marjorie Brook's STRAIT Method is very effective), and may do some in the future.
Thanks for bringing this issue to the forum. I would like to hear more about how you and other therapist approach chiari malformation.