Thanks to all of you for your advice. Hopefully, I'm on the right track with the exercises I am doing - I cope with the acquarobics fine as I don't feel any pressure/pain whilst in the water (but I'm careful not to twist too much, because of the syrinx, and also I tend not to do the froglike jumps as I don't want to curl the spine too much). Do the acqua zumba a bit too - but try not to waddle the waist too much.The aqua dumbells seem good too, as I think they keep the arms toned, as we do quite a bit of arm work - pushing down into the water, but theres no weight being lifted with these of course - they are just like floats. I also do general swimming too.
As to the gym work I do use the the recumbent bike and also the treadmill, but only to walk at a reasonable pace, I never run - think its bad for the knees (especially at my age - 53) so theres no real bouncing of my body there.
I'd been having aches for about 3 years in my scapula area, left arm and left breast and they had just given me exercises to do at the hospital physio dept. Then, after me actually hurting my back doing a particular yoga position at my gym, which resulted in my T8 vertebra fracture, they did a bone density scan and told me I had osteopaenia. The persistent aches in my ribs led them to doing an MRI at a later date after which I was then diagnosed with the Chiari/Syrinx. Had no idea of this until then - quite a shock. You see I have never had the terrible headaches/pains that so many of you seem to have to put up with and this does seem to be a real common symptom of Chiari, I think.
Whilst I'm on - does anyone know if Chiari/Syrinx problems can cause probs with the eyes? My eyesight has deteriorated quite a bit during the last 4 years or so, need glasses for reading, computer work and also my eyes do seem very sensitive to the light as I'm getting older. Wondered if you could perhaps get peripheral nerve damage in the eye area due to a syrinx - any one read anything? Think I'll go and get an eyetest done - its nearly 2 years since the last one.
I understand now why certain activities need to be avoided - in case the herniation gets worse. Once you've been decompressed then, is the herniation still there then but lies within the extra space? Wasn't sure if I'd once read that the cerebellar tonsils can move back up?
Also, what do they say actually causes the headaches - is it the csf pressure in the head - anyone know?