Thursday, 23 September 2010

hints and tips!

Some POSSIBLE non-surgical/ drug free methods to alleviate ACM symptoms- also useful for post-op patients and as life-style guidelines. Bernie Meyer, Editor (
1. Wear highly cushioned, support shoes to reduce neck, cerebellum pounding. Commercial cross-trainers are recommended - New Balance, Nike, Reebok etc.- test before buying.

2. Avoid neck-stressing activities (football, basketball, wave pools, diving, tennis, roller coasters, other amusement park rides of high G forces, lifting in excess of 15 lb, backpacking, falling asleep in chairs, extended reading with head bent etc.)

3. Get plenty of rest and sleep (eight hr minimum). Pillows and sleep position are very important. Soft, small pillows with fiberfill are very good for this i.e. little or no"push" back. Most Chiarians are side-sensitive. Use a large pillow(s) etc. to prevent rollover onto affected side. Stop eating and drinking three to four hours before bedtime to reduce the need to get up at night.

4. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, aspirin and/or high salt diet if tinnitus is a major symptom or any of these dietary items increase other symptoms.

5. Stay in excellent physical condition via walking, exercise bikes and other non-neck stressing activities - STAY LEAN

6. Sit in soft recliners with high backs and foot rests.

7. Support reading material with elbows on your knees/thighs or chair arms. Read "straight" ahead. Use book holders or music stands. Look at computer monitors straight ahead.

8. Drive if you have to but use wide vision mirrors and get seats with high backs. -Take your time and limit your driving to short distances at slow speed preferably during the day. Some Chiarians find orthopedic collars help reduce neck stress when riding in a car etc. Some do not.

*Wide vision rear vew mirrors remove the need to turn the head whilst reversing, they are available online or from most motoring stores*

9. Relax and avoid stress and noise. Don't tighten the neck muscles. Stay "cool".

10. Put soft cold compresses on the neck/ brain joint area or on the top of your head for about an hour while lying down (these are soft compresses). Some Chiarians prefer warm compresses.

11. Straining during bowel movements should be avoided. Eat plenty of roughage and eat at regular times. Drinking herbal tea containing senna may help give pain-free relief from constipation.

12. Heavy jewelry, scarves, ties, tight collars, bras, rings, bracelets and watches might feel uncomfortable. Adopt a casual life style and don't wear them.

13. Try to avoid waiting in lines where stutter stepping is involved. Uneven surfaces or checkered designs in floors maybe difficult to walk on. Focusing on an object in front of your or closing one eye may help when dizziness hits.

14. Do crossword puzzles to assist short- term memory retention. Ditto for playing cards.

15. Take calcium supplements to assist in bone enhancement especially after surgery. Be very cautious using vitamins and supplements- most have not been thoroughly tested for primary and side effects. As always, check with your doctor first.

16. TENS machines may help CM/SM patients, especially those with spasticity (cervical, thoracic, lumbar muscles) and spinal pain. TENS units also can help with headaches. You can buy one for use at home. As always, check with your doctor first.

17. Avoid cervical traction.

18. Lumbar punctures, spinal taps or epidurals can be dangerous for Chiarians. Always ask your doctor and insist they review the literature on these procedures with respect to increasing herniation.

19. Brushing teeth or gargling can result in sneezing. Minimize head motion during brushing and not bending the neck when gargling.

20. Avoid chiropractor adjustment. Most chiropractors have no experience in treating ACM's. One member's herniation significantly increased after cervical adjustment. "That is because I herniated from 3-4 mm to 15-20 mm in 8 months with this treatment (documented on MRIs)".

21. Review daily movements to include cooking and cleaning. Eliminate as much neck stress as possible. See the items on the expanded list below for some helpful hints.

22. Use the special tray that most beauty shops have for washing hair for people who cannot lean back on blunt sink rims. Chiarians should never lean back on the edges of sinks.

23. Methods to reduce neck stress during house cleaning/cooking are listed at

Monday, 6 September 2010

Positive Feelings!


- I am not a victim.
- I have no duty to be perfect.
- If I can't decide which of two choices to pick, perhaps my choice should be something else.
- I have a right to make up my own mind.
- I have a right to ignore the advice of others, even if I asked for that advice.
- Respecting other people's views does not mean I have to agree.
- My time is valuable, too.
- I deserve the time and space to heal.
- I am a very valuable person.


- You have a right to put yourself first.
- You have a right to make mistakes.
- You have a right to be the final judge of your feelings and to accept them as legitimate.
- You have a right to have your own opinions and convictions.
- You have a right to change your mind or decide on a different course of action.
- You have a right to protest unfair treatment or criticism.
- You have a right to interrupt people in order to ask for clarification.
- You have a right to negotiate for change.
- You have a right to ask for help or emotional support.
- You have a right to feel and express pain.
** Mentally I'm coping, emotionally I'm adjusting, and physically, well, two out of three ain't bad. **