I am rewriting this as a new post, because it seems important. There is a type of paroxysmal paresthesia that people describe as feeling like a sudden "zap of electricity" or an "intense zing like a sudden electric current." Other desribe it as feeling like being electrocuted without the dying. This appears to be different from the ongoing tingling that many of us have. It is an intense, sudden thing that comes and is gone.
How many here have this?
If you have it, what does it feel like? and where is it?
Are you diagnosed with MS?
The reason I asked is that I looked through two other threads that talk about this and the vast majority of those that identified with this did not have a diagnosis of MS (yet). I am wondering if it is common in this disease. It is often complained of in Lyme Disease, but I have also heard of it in Transverse Myelitis (which also could be MS). I suspect it is common to any demyelinating disease, but curious as to the experience here, even if you have posted on the older thread.
Zaps and Zings only, please, lol. No ongoing tingles.
My names missy. I dont have a dx of MS but am going thru some diagnostic testing to r/o some pathologies (MS being one) due to symptoms I have. I dont know if this helps at all in answer to your question but; I have 2 cervical herniations pressing on thecal sac, 1 lumbar and looks like one thoracic. Anyway I ocassionally get an electrical zaps in my left arm where my radiculopathy is the worse. I have spinal stenosis in cervical area at least. I also have mild bilateral carpal tunnel and when the ortho or whomever tests you for carpal tunnel they will press on the median nerve in your wrist. When this was done to me I almost jumped of the examination table due to the shock. This is indicative of carpal tunnel as im sure you know.
The shocks feels lke you have plugged in a faulty appliance in an outlet. It is pretty short but pretty intense. Im sure we've all had that experience. Both that is exactly what both my experiences have felt like.
When I was younger and living at home, my mother kept her ironing board in the basement. When the humidity was up or the basement was damp, the zap from plugging in the iron would get me regularly, I think maybe that's why I gave up ironing and to this day only buy permanent press.!
Yes, I experience those momentary zaps and zings but not quite as intense or painful as that iron. Today I was having them in my right shin and my left ankle. It doesn't occur at the same time. It happens so fast and is over with that I can't really say it even hurts. When I get them, they pretty much seem to repeat in the same spots.
I also get the light tingling but nothing that lasts like many of you experience.
Oh Lordy, YES to the zaps and zings. No to being diagnosed. (But haven’t seen a neuro in 6 years.) No suspicion of Lyme and definitely no transverse myelitis.
I've had ten years' worth of paroxysmal zaps and zings.
A lot in my face, in trigeminal-nerve areas. The classic one is a painless (oddly enough) but distinctly electrical shock making a semicircle around my eye and running into the side of my nose and then down into my upper lip. That began around the same time as my other symptoms (fall 1999) as two separate little shocks above and below my left eye and gradually progressed to the eye/temple-nose-lip distribution. Also on the right side, but much less frequently. The "face shocks" occurred many times daily for years--now they've lessened, but they still return in clusters.
Many other stabs-and-jabs, some electrical, and some sharp but not electrical--in my face and teeth over the years.
Another classic pattern is the "double electric shock" which occurs without provocation in a small spot in one foot and simultaneously in a small spot in my groin, abdomen, or ribcage on the same side. Mostly on the left--but sometimes on the right. These are fairly isolated but also tend to occur for days or weeks and then disappear for many weeks.
I can nearly always provoke an electric shock simultaneously in a small “line” (an inch or two long, it seems) above my left elbow and a similar “line” in the top of my left hand (kind of between thumb and forefinger) by pressing exactly right on the top of my left big toe, preferably with a fingernail or toenail. Wouldn’t that HAVE to be some bad wiring in my neck, since it’s a connection between a foot and an elbow/hand?
Early on, pressing on the outside of my right hand caused a sudden wave of tingling to run across my left scalp. Lightly touching the inside of my right wrist caused a similar wave of tingling on my right scalp.
Getting a sharp stab in my right ankle would also cause the wave of tingling on my left scalp.
I also get occasional periods of "attacks" of some shock, stab, or electric pulsing somewhere that will attack (as a paroxysm but often as a repetitive pulsing every few seconds) over and over for maybe half an hour in the same spot (driving me insane), then it will stop, and then recur in the same way for several more attacks throughout the day, often into the next day though with lessening intensity. This is a quite typical pattern.
For example, I'll get repeated "bee stings" in an ankle, bottom of my foot, or below the knee. Or repeated "pulses" of electric-quality tingling in a spot in my thigh. I occasionally get maybe a dozen (roughly) extremely sharp, painful lightning-like stabs in the whole front of my right thigh. Many years ago I had episodes of a "tap-dancing electric centipede" repeatedly drilling out a routine on a spot on the top of my head... weeks later s/he was dancing on the front of my right thigh...and sometime after that, the centipede had set up the same routine under my left toes.
I could go "on and on anon." Remember, we're talking over 10 years here. But those things get your attention. Nothing was ever as painful, though, as the lightning-bolt pains under my ears that was my very first symptom in the spring or early summer of 1999 (if you don’t count many previous years of dizziness, achiness, a numb hip, and some head stabs that I never really paid attention to or saw a doctor about). A few weeks later I sneezed & lost the hearing in one ear and everything cascaded from there.
That’s not to mention the Lhermitte’s.
It’s funny you bring this up, because I was just about to post about another weird related symptom (separately).
The zaps are one of my most annoying and constant symptoms.
Twice that I can recall, I have put a wet hand on a garbage disposal switch that sent a jolt through my entire body.
Today I live with that feeling every time I move my head toward my chest. It always send an, annoying at best, current through to the tips of my toes and if I am over worked, the shock is through my whole body. I am dx'd MS and have 2 cervical spinal lesions of close to 1cm in length (at last MRI this Jan which was taken 1 week before the zaping started.)
I also have the ongoing tingiling in my feet and right arm. There is quite a difference between the feelings.
I also get zaps to my head that I call my "Brain Pain" it is short and random but definately a shock that feels more like the zap you get when you send a spark electricity quickly when you touch metal after a good rub down of the carpet in your socks.
I know I found more info about these symptoms under Lyme Disease and TM but I was tested for Lyme and I do not fit any other symptoms for TM. I am told that I have L'Hermitte's sign which I am under the impression is one test for MS.
I do believe that the actual jolting shock feeling to m toes is more leaning toward spinal cord demyelination than brain demyelination. I have no info on my brain pain except the lesions there as well. Of course I am very new at this so I would love to read from others.
I get them usually while coming out of a position of neck flexing. Feels like a cattle prod to my R buttocks, L forearm, L mid back. Not at the same time, all separate occasions, inconsistently. I never know when it will hit me next. Any time I flex my neck for some reason, I'm not sure I'm going to get it or not! Life is full of surprises!
current diagnosis if one can call it that: "unspecified demyelinating diesease"
Yes, from time to time I too get the "intense zing like a sudden electric current." My best esitmate of if's origin feels like the area of center spine more to the bottom of the T-sec. Radiates from there. Posistion doesn't seem to matter. That is, it has occurred laying down, sitting, or standing.
I get them, one of my main symptoms is pain, I get horrible neuralgia and painful tingle that runs down a nerve in my leg (very similar to what it felt like when the Dr hit the nerves during the LP), but I also get zaps or bolts that shoot down into my toes, usually it puts me in mind of touching an electric fence or something like that, lightning quick, only lasts seconds but takes your breath away.
I also get the flexing of the neck tingle as well and that has also radiated into my arms and legs.
Diagnosis Transverse Myelitis? Well that is what he says in the appointments etc. but my MRI is still normal. Apparently pain of this nature is common with TM and can often be the presenting factor.
Do you mean the "phantom vibrating cell phone syndrome"? Oh yeah, of course i suffer from it! both my feet soles. I have been diagnosed with MS since March last year. Boy, it's been aggressive!. Well, now i realized that your question had nothing to do with the phantom phone, but in my defense, I HAVE MS!! (it's great to yell at people who wanna cut in front of you or that are being rude...I, with my extra dark sense of humor, use it almost on a daily basis)
I suffer from zaps on the base of my neck and (oh dear!) i am experiencing one on the left side of my neck right now! It's your fault!!! (i'm kidding)
Absolutely no possibility of Lyme disease here. I hardly ever get out of the house, and the house must something Mr Clean would be proud of. We have two mini weenie dogs that never go outside, i don't take walks (i drag my right leg, not good for the kids) and we also have two fat lazy cats that would rather lose weight than going outside.
I also suffer from the zap on my middle back, right on the spine, but i always thought it was because i also suffer from Ankylosing Spondilitis.
Good morning to all. This is my rant o' the day for you
Well gosh, I too was wondering if the cell phone effect is simply a slower version (and maybe less powerful) of this same thing. I haven't had the shocks, have had the phone. That has to be one of the weirdest sensations in my exhaustive list of weird sensations!
Hi, Quix--Yep--I've had zaps and zings for most of my 36 years. Mine are usually just on my legs and although intense, they are definitely bee stings and short lived and not as bad as some symptoms. Mine are not weird like some people's here--just momentarily painful. thank heaven's we have a sense of humor! Jane
My sensations of electric shocks have been mostly in the uper back. Sometimes it's a stady sense of zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz across from one shouder to the other, but there have been a couple of zings that started below the base of the neck and traveled diagonally down and to the left, stopping on the rub cage beneath the left arm, right about the bottom rib. I've also had the phantom vibrating cell phone syndrome, which has been eerily real on the top of my left ankle and onec in a while on the back of the neck. Usually when I am having these problems, I've also been experiencing twitching, especially in the upper eyelids. I've been fortunate enout that none of these have occurred int he past week or two except the steady shoulder thing, which is mild and common.
Hi Quix and a good day to everyone,
I posted last week... I, too, have the electric shock like current that crops up out of the blue. Periodic sudden bee sting feeling appears on outer left shin.
Electrical current sensation that runs down entire left leg for hours at times or will migrate everyhwhere, from toes, fingers, arms, legs to back of head. This is one of the many symptoms that keeps me awake at all hours.
No clear diagnosis of MS but Rheum says is a possibilty. Tests recently turned up I'm b12 deficient without the ususal causes for lacking this.
I am newly diagnosed RRMS and the MS Specialist said no way to Lyme Disease. I get a shock like 24 volt electricity to my left big toe that makes me cry out involuntarily. I also gets smaller zaps that move. None last long. I do have mirror vision lesions in the mid brain.
I believe "Phantom Cell Phone Syndrome" should be a considered a "condition" or a disease by itself. It's annoying, embarrassing (come on, how many of you have reached in your purse to fish that darn cell phone out?).
I look at it as the "Paris Hilton Syndrome". If i'm at the mall, i walk with the cell phone on one hand, giant bag and lovely pink cane. I like to look like i have an extremely busy schedule. Even if i'm just getting deodorant.
The electric pain that I get is a feeling like you hit your (crazy bone on the elbow)
This particular shock has not happened for quite a while, except for one eye (off and on)
This was the main symptom that took me to family doc My foot and arm shocked (about 40 seconds) (14 times in two weeks)turned inward at same time. Could not move, them while it was happening. Told family doc and he believed me and was concerned, I had many other odd documented symptoms also over a period of time. Linda
I meant to say hand and foot (instead of arm and foot,)
If I can remember correctly it was on the right side.at the same time
Could not figure out what was happening It hurt really bad. I thought it would just go away, I blew so many weird symptoms off My husband saw it happen and said
What is happening? Kind of in shock!!!!! Your going to the doctor Right now!!!!!!
I am not diagnosed. I have had 2 episodes of the "electric shock" type feeling - the first time it went from the left side of my back at my ribs to the right & it took my breath away it was so painful. The second time was from the left to the right across my abdomen - same feeling & almost as intense as the first.
I have also had "buzzing" in my back bottom area - and also in the front lower abdomen.
I have "tingling" on a regular basis - It is one of my first symptoms that tends to stick around, but varies in intensity depending on if I am having an "episode" of symptoms.
I get the zap/zing but I compare it to a rubber band snapping me. It is there and then gone. But it does take me by surprise!
I have had them in my head, neck, arms, and feet. It happens when I am turning my head or back.
I have had several variants of the 'electric shock' sensation. They started with electric shocks up my forearms, from my wrists to my elbows. It happened consistently when I tapped on my wrist.
That stopped happening, but now I get an electric shock in my hands and arms when a joint pops. My hands have been doing that a lot more recently - I'll put pressure on an object, my wrist or hand will pop, and an electric shock will shoot up my arm.
I also get electric shocks in my fingertips, but I'm not sure if it's electric-feeling, or just a painful pinprick.
zaps and zings mainly in legs but now often in right arm too.
Last year I had a very large patch on my back from the spine across my back towards the right had side and just below the ribs, it felt like someone was pressing on my back and the first few times I actually turned around to look but it also involved a creeping sensation that felt ike a slow subtle electric shock in that it was intense but not painful - and I think you guys are the only ones that will know what I mean. I was told this may have been a partial MS hug - but I am not so sure.
Jen, that is interesting, as some of my shocks (or tingling) also come as a quite consistent reaction to a stimulus of some sort (pressure or pain in a faraway part of the body).
Have you heard of Tinel's sign? I seem to remember vaguely that it's a tingling or shock when the doctor taps on a certain place on your wrist or ankle (?) as a test for carpal or tarsal tunnel syndrome. I think it supposedly shows that nerves are regenerating after some damage.
I supposedly had a mild Tinel's sign bilaterally in my ankles when the podiatrist diagnosed my right-side posterior tibial tendon dysfunction syndrome (what a mouthful!) in 1999--coincidentally, just three days before I lost my hearing during that summer when everything hit me (full-force perimenopause, hearing loss, presumed trigeminal neuralgia...).
I have the electric shock feelings in my face (atypical trigeminal neuralgia was the dx) as well as the "ice-pick' sensations in my scalp and head (told occipital neuralgia). Both feel very similar , last a few seconds and probably no longer that a minute at a time but one of those minutes that feel like an hour. Occasionally, the zap precedes the longer lasting and more familiar tingling which does last hours to days.
My zaps and zings are felt in the front of my thighs (more so the right thigh)
I have had them in the back of the left arm (these kill the most)
I have also had them in my face jaw bones upper mostly and sometimes a similar sensation is felt along my teeth
I have had one zap up the spine
for me these present themselves for the most part during a flareup and occasionally during my time of the month
No DX of MS yet
My Dx's include vaginismus, vulvar vestibulitis syndrome and peripheral neuropathy,
I like bio am mostly vibrating lol with occasional severe leg pains
I get these zaps as you call them, in my feet. They are different than the prickly tingly feeling that I get - they are a lot more intense and make me want to mash on the area to make it go away. My feet have actually jerked a few times when the zaps have come, it makes me smile when they do that. I am not diagnosed currently.
I had wonderful Internet friend for eight years who had primary progressive MS. Her best time and a time she could almost miracuously walk was right before it rained. Those electrical zaps then helped her. Her name was Rosemary, and I miss her. Here's a poem I wrote about her donation of her brain to MS research at Rocky Mountain Research Center. It's important to think and read about;there are several such places.
The Rose that Bloomed
I never met Rosemary, but I knew her well
One of my first true Internet friends
Her love of music, words and people
Her laughter tinkled in my ear
The soft clear way she spoke so well
Her insight into others, and how she gave,
Her outstanding medical repertoire
The extreme love she had for her boys
What a sweet open soul she had
Her worry for others, her ability to write
The unbreakable bond she had with her family
Her resilience, courage, tenderness...
Rosemary's life with multiple sclerosis
Her brain given to help others,
Rosemary's legacy of love
Dx MS. I had Trigeminal Neuralgia several years ago - NO fun. I get zings around my eye still, but not consistently. My most consistent painful "zing-like" symptom is in my left foot. One little spot! every time the same - drives me nuts. I have to rub it to counteract the pain, although it only helps a little. I get zaps in my left ear on occasion, but not as consistently as my foot. The foot is very wierd - not exactly electrical - I've been electrocuted before - twice pretty seriously. Once in college, putting a tube in the back of a TV - yes you young things, some of us are that old. Another one was a year ago. I put a metal ladder into a bare bulb socket - bare feet on wet concrete - the shock made my body jump, which moved the ladder wildly around and BACK INTO THE SOCKET for another big shock. I was alone and thought I'd need help - but was OK. The TV incident through me across a room, onto the wall, from which I slid down and onto the floor. THAT was really something. But, hey, I was in college and bounced back! lol These little (by comparison) are harder to deal with!
I get them in my legs, particularly right in the middle of the muscle that failed during my last major exacerbation. I always thought of these as spasms. They do feel extremly electrical and have at times brought me down (literally fell down in the grocery store once) when they occur. They last anywhere from 5 to 45 seconds.
The main one is from the middle of my back out to the edge of my shoulder. Sometimes it is like things crawling on it, sometimes like needles, and sometimes a serious electric shock (and I used to be a stage electrician in my youth, I've had more electric shocks than I like to think about).
Not got a diagnosis yet, but hey, it's only been 16 months, I'm not holding my breath.
I hope I have found you well. I haven't posted for quite awhile. I had decided to just live with what is going on and try to get through school (getting bachelors in Applied Science, Accounting) and get to a place where I can afford health care. My Dr actually dropped me as a patient because I don't have insurance. He said that if I didn't have $30,000.00 in saving then we would be just chasing ourselves with the testing that I needed then he said "You know what I mean, I don't care if I don't get paid but the hospital will charge you for these tests and expect to be paid."
Anyways, I came hear to ask about feet pain. My feet started out almost 4 years ago with constant tingling. It was mild but never let up, then I would get a cutting sensation. It would so painful and real that I would check to make sure that I wasn't bleeding. Then numbness started and sometimes goes up half my leg on the left side and as weird as it sounds both of my feet are constantly in pain. I know pain and numbness. It is strange how if my toes are barely touched I get a terrible pain but if they are touched firmly without motion I don't hardly feel that. But at any given moment without touch I get these horribly painful electrical shock pains. I didn't know how common this is.
Oh by the way I haven't been Dx but the Dr mention some time ago that I possibly had MS. but nothing done to find out except EMG and an MRI of spine on 0.23 telsa without contrast which as I understand is useless.
The shocks that I feel in my feet is like an electrical shock I received as a teenager when I try to plug in a radio with a wet cord into a wet socket. I know not smart but in my defense I didn't realize it was wet. It was an outside building and I was drinking. It sober me up fast.
No dx yet, yes to the zaps, but only in the trigeminal nerve area. Sometimes it's downright painful, but mostly it's a really strong shock. (This shock is different than the pain that I also get with the TN.) I told my husband (before I realized what it was) that it felt like I'd peen punched in the jaw really hard, or hit the back of my head on a hard surface. That was the residual feeling, like I'd been hit or shaken very hard.
No zaps anywhere else, yet, except for the rare (5 or 6 times ever) L'Hermittes that goes through my entire body from my neck.
I get them too! I just started going to a neuro after having them for 3 or so years. The reason I have only started going to a dr is because when they started, they came rarely - maybe 30 times over 3 years. Now, I am getting them sometimes 30 times a day.
I confused the neuro when I told him they happen everywhere - my thigh, my foot, my elbow, my shoulder, my wrist, my fingers, etc. Each "episode" lasts maybe 5 seconds to a couple minutes and is comprised of zip zap shocks. Imagine 1/2 second of the most intense pain you've ever felt, and then 1/2 second pain free, then another 1/2 second of that pain, and so on. My shocks don't radiate and only occur in one spot at a time. And an episode is over, that particular area is totally normal feeling. The pain takes my breath away.
Is this similar to you too? Please don't feel like you're going crazy. I got the impression that I suprised my neuro, maybe he never heard of it - but how likely is that? He doesn't know what's causing it, my symptoms don't "fit" into one category. He mentioned MS, but said that I wasn't the typical presentation - I guess the shocks aren't supposed to jump around? Well, anyways, I hope my descrption made you feel better, I wish I could tell you what was causing it, but I'm working on it. Good luck!!
Yes for me to the zaps and zings! I call them shooters. I get them often in my arms, back and legs.
For me they feel like a really sharp - hot poker got me. If I had to rate the pain it is a 10+ and makes me jerk. Thankfully they only last a second or so, long enough to have people see the reaction and ask if you are ok.
I tell the family - it's just a shooter and they nod and keep talking. It's kind of a part of life.
Hi, and welcome. why don't you tell us a little about yourself?
In general, the symptoms that move around all in the same day or so are not at all characteristic of MS, but more of a systemic (the whole body and not just the central nervous system) problem. If you have these zappy zings and they dance around from place to place, I would have you be investigated by for things like B1`2 deficiency, autimmune diseases, and infections especially Lyme Disease.
In MS the nerves have discreet places on the nerves that are damaged. Our symptoms come from those non-moving lesions on the nerves and so we have the same symptoms in the same place for quite a while, then they may move to another place where they linger a while.
People with Lyme Disease, and probably other things, have the kind of quick symptom changing that you describe. We have a Lyme Froum here in MedHelp. You might go ober and talk to them also.
I must have missed this post while I was out of town.....but yes I get a little zap every now and then. It is confined to my feet, usually the right, but not always. The zap generally hits right before my big toe, but sometimes affects the ball or arch area of the underside of my foot. It feels like I got zapped by electricity and is really annoying.
I have yet not been diagnosed,
I have what feels like rush of electric current going down my spine/back, that can really take my breath away at times. I experience alot of like small zing zaps/tingling/crawling feeling on my face/neck, which can really set off my itching attack.
I had blood drawn this past weekend to test for Lyme, so we'll see what comes back. I have had Lyme twice before, so they'll be testing to see if new bands have appeared. In the past, my Lyme related symptoms have included stiff neck, sore joints, ringing in the ears, light sensitivity, migraines, and rashes, which I haven't experienced since my last Lyme infection. My mother is very familiar with Lyme and insisted on an aggressive treatment with antibiotics, so I am pretty sure I don't have an active infection. As to a new infection, it's possible, but I haven't had any flu-like symptoms. I have considered just going on antibiotics for a couple weeks to see if I get a herscheimer (spelling?) reaction. If my symptoms did worsen, then I would know it was because of the Lyme.
I will ask my doctor about the B12 deficiency. It would have to be a malabsorbtion issue because I try to eat healthy, lots of dairy, fruits and veggies, and fish and meat.
I have an MRI scheduled for tomorrow, so I guess I'll take it from there. If it comes back negative, I'll just back into the maze, lol. I just don't want my neuro to say it's all in my head or stress.
I don't really get zaps and zings, but occasionally, when I'm quiet, I'll get a really quick pinprick zap. This comes in a few different places, but mostly around the lower leg or toe. For some reason, this is usually followed by whatever limb (usually right leg) jerking out uncontrollably.
sho, that's was I get, too. Like a sudden pinpr ick and the jerk is identical to when they check your reflexes. Typically the stab is on my right leg and it will jerk and kick out, sometimes causing me to stub my toe.
I think this whole thread is fascinating. So much for the neurologists that say they've "never heard of such a thing."
I was getting the vibrating cell phone buzz in my feet, made it impossible to sleep. I did some research and one of the possible culprits was caffeine. I drank 2 or 3 cokes a day, I cut it off cold turkey, and since I've eliminated caffeine from my diet, I've had no more buzzing feet.
Reading all these comments makes me feel like Im not so crazy!
I have these zaps in the sides by my ribs, they are like fast, shooting electrical pains that last a split second but everytime they happen im stoped in my tracks because they are painful! They always scare me cause Im always like 'what the heck can that be'?
I cant even describe the feeling but its very weird. They almost always come in my rib area but now once in a while I get these shooting/stabbing pains in my back, neck and head. Those 'zaps' are slightly different then the ones in my ribs. I dont know what it is.
The thing is I dont have insurance so I dont know what to do but search sites like this and try to figure it out.
What you and Sho described sounds like what I have experienced. Usually after I get off work or do household chores and I sit back in my chair to relax I get a quick ***** type pain in the bottom of my L foot that causes my whole leg to jump. It does not happen daily but more than care for.
I have a wierd feeling of very very mild with painless shock like sensation in my both palms. At one spot any where in the palm or in the fingers. I am fearful about this. Can any one throw light on this.
I get these, mainly when I am at rest. They either come as a complete volt that goes through my whole body or in one spot in my head as if someone is holding an electrical shock to that point. They are not painful, but disarming. There is also a noise that I seem to hear in my brain with them. It is bizarre and really kind of scary. I mention it to the doctors and they just look at me like I am nuts. They seem to think that I mean that kind of jerking feeling you have when you are about to go to sleep, the falling kind of thing that jerks you awake...I can't get them to understand the whole electrical shock feeling. I have no diagnosis of MS yet, I do have Fibro. I am going to the Barnes Hospital MS clinic in the next couple of weeks for a consult, so I hope to know more then.
In addition to the constant tingling I have in my left foot, I get occasional "zaps" of intense tingling or sometimes feels like burning in both feet, usually the toes, and both hands, usually the fingertips. Sometimes it lasts a few minutes, sometimes it's only a brief second or two. And sometimes it's no big deal, but sometimes it's so intense it makes me stop what I'm doing and grab the area where it's happening.
No diagnosis...Lyme's, thyroid, B12 deficiency all ruled out. Seeing a second neurologist in 3 weeks...hopeful to get an answer!
Everyone with the "Zaps, Zings, & Electrical Shocks"
I, too, suffer from this 'ray gun' phenomenon. I apologize in advance for my lengthy post but I'm trying to condense several things I think are germain to the posts by others here.
In my case, the shocks are running from the area of about C6-7 in my neck and travel upward. As experienced by others, my zaps last as long it would take to say, anywhere from "spaghetti and meat...." to "spaghet" (HAHA) strangest measuring means you've ever heard! Some of my best friends are speech therapists! Anyway, I suspect mine are related to pinching in the cervical spine area. I've had 3 neck-spine surgeries in the last four years [as ET says, "Ouuuwwwchhh"]. The first was "anterior" (through front of neck by pushing aside esophagus and ) discectomy & fusion of areas, C3-4, C4-5, & C5-6. Over 18 months later, C6-7 with anterior approach was added, I lost my voice which slowly recovered to only slight permanent damage (the process invoves moving the vocal chords). I now blame my poor singing ability on that ;-)
Due to lack of fusion and movement instrumentation, I underwent 're-do' of C3-4, C4-5, C5-6, & C-6-7 with the removal of the old instrumentation (metal supports) and the addition of a more sophisticated metal support with stabolization rods) almost seven months ago. This last surgery was a "posterior" approach (they cut the neck and back muscles to access the spine - ouuuwwwchhh). This way hurts more!!!
My zap electrical shocks have returned from only a handful over the last 3 months to 40 + a day. Although I had numbness in my L arm and L& R leg before this has also recently increased.
The zaps are referred to as l'Hermittes sign, aka the Barber Chair phenomon, defined as a an electric shock-like sensation generally spreading from the neck region to arms & legs, & often triggered by a forward/downward movement of the chin (neck flexion). Triggers can vary as can the pathway(s) of spreading. It is a hallmark sx (symptom) of Multiple Sclerosis but is also a non-specific sx of other cervical spinal cord lesions and other disease processes, such as radiculopathy, spinal cord inflammation, the use of ecstacy drug, nitrous oxide inhalation, etc... An attempt has been made to define variant forms of l'Hermitte phenomenon and possible corresponding disease processes [ref: Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, Volume 15, Issue 4, April 2008, Pages 379-381].
In my case, I am *PETRIFIED* that my resurgence of the 'zaps', increased limb numbness, and continued lower spine/SI joint pain may mean more spine damage. I CANNOT physically handle another surgery; they'd have to catch me, first! Run, Forrest, run, LOL. Further, I have been unable to work in the last couple of years, setting aside a very established practice in the mental health field.
Lastly, yes, I have seen well-intentioned health professionals rely on MENTAL HEALTH dx's as a last-resort when they are 'stumped'. Often, they are not as well-trained in these areas (very sadly, even a [small] number of neurologists) and the patient fails to meet the industry standard's criteria for the resulting dx. Please do not misunderstand, most nuerologists are *MORE*! than adequately qualified and with regard to medicine in general, they are of the best we have & I am in awe of them. It is the small few and other non-neurologist professionals that tend to use what they call in my profession, "voodoo" dx'g. Further, these types of diagnoses seem to be the result of some need to come up with ANY diagnosis instead of admitting, "I don't know". [My analyzing THEM, here]. Perhaps, this a carry-over from a being reamed by superiors in med school for not having a clue! If you do NOT have a history of mental illness, do NOT have other recent sx's that can be psychiatric in etiology, or do NOT have a recent, and very traumatic event that may be associated time-wise with the advent of your physical sx's, SEEK A SECOND OPINION!!! Ultimately, we must be our OWN advocates. Only proper diagnosis can lead to proper tx!!!
I have had the so called Zaps and Zings, I get them when i extend my arms, the electric shock sensation runs down my arms to between my thumb and forefinger, I also get the same sensation when bending my head forward, to halfway down my spine
My worst ones are when i am laying in bed, and i get the sensation that something high voltage has just touched my head, and a jolt goes through my brain, they last only a few seconds, but are very scary
Perhaps my shocks are different than most others. Mine appear anywhere from my waist up...much like when alcohol is placed on the skin...it lasts for 24 hours.skin area can be 1inch in diameter to 2 at the very most...no rash..no sign of anything..can place my hand on the area..and sometimes its so sensitive "it hurts", other times nothing...sometimes the shock comes by itself while I'm perfectly still be it in bed or sitting/standing, and then sometimes when I make a move. No doctor has been able to give me a clue..an elder brother suggested its a form of shingles without the rash...there is no remedy that I know of, I just live with it for the 24 hours..maybe it comes back in a few days or then maybe in 3 months..always in a different area of my body.
I have been getting "shocks" in my left arm for several years, most often when I bend my arm at the elbow like curling a weight (pinkie closest to center of body, thumb outward, like for a chin-up). It shoots down the length of my forearm and causes rapid pain and numbness and a shock in my pinkie and ring finger until I extend it. I never really worried about it because I assumed it was associated with a wrist injury that I had had causing a nerve to be pinched, but now the same thing is happening in my right ankle. It is mostly fine when I walk, but when I flex my ankle upwards a painful "shock" goes through my toes, sometimes only one or two, but more often the four biggest ones. This worries me because I haven't injured my ankle. I do have an abnormal curvature in my lumbar spine (which causes pain and pressure in my back), but this has never caused pain to manifest in my foot. I haven't been diagnosed with MS or any other nerve disorder, and I am not sure if this is simply a pinched nerve or something more serious...should I go to a doctor?
If you think the sensations are from an external source, like an electricity weapon or a radar gun or a more high tech weapon used by a stalking group or an angry neighbor, search electronic mind control weapons on Internet and write ***@**** . People experience all kinds of sensations in any part of the body and the stress is overwhelming to many. Old timers know documentation to prove attacks.
If you think the sensations are from an external source, like an electricity weapon or a radar gun or a more high tech weapon used by a stalking group or an angry neighbor, search electronic mind control weapons on Internet and write ***@**** . People experience all kinds of sensations in any part of the body and the stress is overwhelming to many. Old timers know documentation to prove attacks.
i know the feeling. What the heck is it? Most say carpal tunnel but that explain the popping? Have you any idea what it is? It started happening to me within the last year. When it first started it was quite often. Now is has subsided a bit. My joints haven't been popping that much. If you have any idea i'm dying to find out. Thanks!
I have been getting a feeling going up both sides of my face to the top of my head.It just comes out of the blue and can last a few minutes. It makes me cringe and hurts my teeth as I seem to grit them when it happens. It feels like it is electric shock but the sounds I hear sound sort of like a duck quacking. I am on Antidepressants and have been suffering vertigo like symptoms, tinnitus and fatigue.
Just wondering if anyone else has had anything like this.
This was the symptom that got me diagnosed. I had a spinal MRI which showed lesions on my cord causing L'hermittes Syndrome - the quick zap that would run down my right side body when I tilted my chin down towards my chest. Once I recovered from my initial relapse I don't experience them often or near as strong when I do.
I had these shocks that ran down my left leg from November to January, but my MRI (without contrast) came out ok. Does anyone know why this is or if there is something else that can cause this kind of Lhermittes sign?
I get these electrical shocks that feel very strong. These seem to be produced in my body. Not by a outside source. They can be any where in my body. My legs, arms, fingers, eyes. And happen at any time. Its not anxiety. And they can stay in the same spot and repeat over and over again. Or just go away. In fact right now I have one in my foot. My father had this and now my kids.Some are so strong I almost yelp when they hit. Mine are getting stronger as I age. I wish I knew if this had a name.
So I probably shouldn't have googled this. Never google your symptoms! I have been getting these shock like feelings for a while now and they happen like every 5 minutes ish. it's in my throat and effects my eye and works its way down my left arm and ends with a little tingle in my left hand. It doesn't hurt but is incredibly annoying as it makes me nauseous and my left eye goes bright for a second. I haven't considered going to the doctor, but might make an appointment with my family doctor now...
As an update on my post about this....I usually only experience these when lying down and when I bend my chin forward. Very quick but not painful at all. Just shocks me. Also I notice is happens when I've had alcohol. Iol
I have been having these pains for probably about 20 years now, that I can remeber anyways. It started when I was in my teens and it felt like a ball of electricity building up in my ankle and then when it got big enough shooting through my foot and it felt like a knife shot out of my big toe. I would be an intense pain that would make me stomp my foot (like that might help) then it would be over only lasting a total of a few seconds. Over the past few years the pains have spread to random places all over my body, normally near joints like elbow, fingers, toes, but sometimes in my back, chest, leg, or even sometimes behind the eye or top of my brain. I have never been to the doctor about this. In fact I kept it a secret from everyone even my closest loved ones until a couple of years ago when the frequency of these pain increased making it hard to keep a secret. Other than this I have no known diseases or illnesses.
I have fibromyalgia. I also have a crushed disc in my neck and two bulging discs in my spine. For several months now in certain movements, like when closing my hand or twisting it or grabbing something a certain way the middle of my hand pops and its painful and immediately sends a shock of electricity up my forearm. Then it's done, except it has a burning sensation afterwards. I dont have insurance so i can't afford to go figure it out...dies anyone have a clue????
I have Zaps and Zings. I call them electric shocks. I always have them in my brain. it feels exactly what it sounds like a quick shock, not painful just jolting and makes me a bit disoriented. I have not been diagnosed with MS but have had many symptoms and clean MRI. My latest symptom is memory loss, cognitive......I gave up on doctors, they seem to think I am a Hypochondriac or something.
i became ill so to speak overnight, literally in every sense of the word overnight. doctors have no idea what is wrong and are only treating me symptomatically. I will not into great detail to that but found it strange when i started getting these "jolts" of "electricity" into my hands and my ears. its like a tingle shock type of thing!
I hear you... I get them in my brain too... for about 3 years now, only when laying down but it is a shock in my brain that runs down my spinal cord and makes my kinda "shake it out" like twist my back, it doesn't hurt but it will wake me from sleep sometimes.
I also don't go to Dr.s anymore... refuse to take meds tha "only in theory may" slow down my symptoms... LOL
I was wondering if you ever found out what was casing your zapping problem? I have it from my chest to my crotch just on the left side when I am at rest, holding my cell I drop it. Very rarely during the day mostly laying down.
Hi Farrah, I came across your post. I am sorry you experience these electric shocks ad that you have MS. I have had electric shocks in my head and neck for 5 years. I am suspicious of MS but in the past nothing has shown up. Is there anything that helps or any medication.
Thank you so much,
Hi Suzaq! You've come across an oldish post. Farrah doesn't appear to have participated in the community since 2009, so it's unlikely that you'll get a direct response to your question. However, if you start a new topic (the "post a question'" link at the top of this page) you'll have a bunch of currently active members who'll be happy to weigh in.
Alternatively, you can look at the top right of this page for answers to similar questions in the box marked "search this community". If it's limited to your head and neck, you may find the search term "lhermitte's sign" helpful.
Most of my zap are on my toes but have got them on other parts of my body including the odd zap on face. Started out about 20 yrs ago as very very short zap on toe. As time goes on pain more intense, interrupts what i'm doing or saying.Now are very painful lasting up to a minute. Must put pressure on it to tolerate it. Nerve specialists want to give me meds used for seizures. I refused.
I'm so glad to have so many others describing this symptom. I have no diagnosis yet, and I'm new to this forum (looking for answers). I described these painful sensations to my neurologist as 'bug bite' feelings. They have only been on my arms, legs, and feet (both sides). Sometimes they wake me up at night. It comes on very sudden, and goes away as quickly as it comes. It feels like something is biting, pinching, or poking me, but i guess zaps and zings are pretty appropriate descriptions as well. I've had these pains for about a year now, and they are my most annoying and persistent symptom.
Thanks for the posts!
sorry i can only type one handed. i get these electric shock feelings quite often n my useless right hand's fingertips. they r more shockig than painful or i have a hi pain tolerance. yes i have ms. from jan 2 2013 to april 19 2013 i had a crappy doc that told me my stmptoms where n my head. now i have a good doc. i havent decided how long i'm willing to live like this yet. im so alone and scared. would appreciate someone contacting me via email at ***@**** i'm scared
I get electrical shocks that zing down both legs at the same time. It will shoot once or twice from the top of my legs down to my toes. It has got stronger and last longer. It is very uncomfortable, it feels like a electric current and nerve pain at the same time.
My neuro has ordered an MRI of neck, thorax, and lumbar spine. Hope I can finally get some answers to this and all my other numbness/tingling issues.
Yes - DX with MS. Had trigeminal neuralgia early on and it was very sudden, sharp and intense. It radiated along the nerve in my face periodically for a time then would go away, only to return a couple months later. Thankfully haven't had that in quite a while. I did have a one sided facial burning on that same side later (maybe i burned the nerve out!) Other isolated nerve zings I believe are related to spinal issues and who knows what else. I try not to focus on the things that don't hang around. There are enough problems that do! lol Jan
Back again and yes the zaps and zings did lead to a dx of MS. They happen when I lower my head forward and sometimes when i move my eyes to the right. Also I have a new symptom of left face pain. The lesions are non specific of T2 hyperintensities in subcortical and periventricular
I have been getting electrocuted between top of right thigh and buttock for the last year or so... It's driving me crazy. It started as one time thing, and now I have gone as many as 4 days straight every 4-5hrs getting a cattle prod feeling to my ***. It is embarrassing because it makes me scream and jump, grab my butt, in front of my employees and customers... It is so painful, on a scale of 1-10 its like a 15! I have MRI's of My spine from Cervical to Lumbar, which came back negative for anything, I had MRI of brain (one white spot on left frontal lobe) said no MS, and recently had an EMG which came back with a pinched nerve in left S1.... my neurologist has no clue what is causing it, and I live in fear of it happening, it is so painful. I was diagnosed 3 years ago with Fibromyalgia, and I have Cervical Kyphosis. It's happening 3 times today. It has woken me out of a dead sleep, screaming in pain. I tested negative for Lymes. I don't know what is left to test for??? Or who to see?? I want to cut that nerve right out of me....... I just want to cry
Hi I'm Becky, I know how you feel aubderv7... I just got done crying about a similar thing. I was diagnosed with MS in 2004. I've been getting these "zaps" in my upper right groin and right foot simultaneously... I'll let you all use your imagination about where the upper groin is. I also have a vast many back issues from an "MS related gait." In other words, I walk stupid because my left side is useless. At this point I don't really know if these "zaps" are a product of MS or Sciatic issues. I will say that when you have to live with any sort of neurological or chronic spinal disorder, every day is like a crappy surprise. I hate it because I can remember when things were nothing like this.
Your post is old so you may know this now but you sound to have l'hermittes phenomenon being the current down your spine and occasionally to your toes. This is what I had initially and then was diagnosed after further tests with MS. I had my first Zap shock this morning however. Never heard of this symptom before. Hope you are well.
I had Lhermittes shocks in my first big relapse in 2011. I had another random Lhermites shock since, but don't have it as an ongoing symptom. My nervous system likes those zapping symptoms apparently as I also have had trigeminal neuralgia.
You are the 1st person I have heard actually describe the exact thing I am going through. Bug bites...like a split second bite... at night while sleeping. It has woken me out of a dead sleep though because I am so out of it I can only surmise that is was a spider biting me. I've actually gotten up and tried to search for a spider in my bed waking my husband. It's on a leg, calf, ankle, foot, upper thigh.... but also hands and very rare on my buttocks. It only happened maybe once per every couple weeks though and always a few nights in succession and then stops for months. This last incident I awoke again swearing a spider had bitten me. I searched the bed.... nothing. Then decided to just get up and get a drink of water. As I stood at the sink it occurred to me that this same thing has been happening for years. I just didn't correlate the other times.
I have always had an electric blanket on my bed..... I have fibromyalgia so the warmth right when going to bed helps. But I always turn it off before I fall to sleep. I can recall quite a few times feeling an electrical current on a foot or arm or hand or somewhere and waking in a stark. I kept thinking it was my blanket.... hmm maybe I need to replace it. Well then summer came and I took the blanket off the bed and it happened again.... then I realized... with the same thing except a much stronger stinging/zapping..... I thought it was a spider biting me. Now I realize it feels more like a sharp electrical current at a split second.. happening so fast. I have read that people with fibromyalgia can also experiencing these same electrical shock feelings which is nerves firing. One thing I have also wondered about is MS and lyme disease. I have been bitten by a tick before while living in South Dakota.... a few years ago. I was never diagnosed or tested and don't recall ever feeling ill. I am also realizing that the constant slight tingles I get on and off frequently throughout the day is related and feels similar but not as strong. I read of other women experiencing sharp upper groin pain. I have had what feels like someone has stabbed me somewhere at the end of my cervix (is the best way to describe the location). Paps always come back A ok and when I have asked the doc about it they just look at me like I'm a little nuts. Years later now.... and a bigger issues is things are escalating (I am now 52). The bigger issue is we are self employed now so have no real medical coverage so I haven't been able to afford to go in for testing. Years back when my husband worked for a big corp we had medical and it was then that I was tested for lupus, and RA and any other type of arthritis blood markers. Those tests came back negative so the doctor diagnosed me (given my symptoms and family history) with fibro. That was 12 years ago. I am still wondering now if MS could be the culprit. Thanks for reading. :-) JJ
I have had electrical shock down my arms to my fingers and my legs for many months. Along with that I get very dizzy when I first wake up.
I thought there was something in my nose so I went to a nose specialist
found out that was a waisted trip and insurance. Now I am wondering should I see a regular Family Doctor or seek another Specialist. Confused and Miserable
A beautiful poem, a lasting tribute to a lovely lady from a sweet & caring listener. I have MS & Lupus, I don't allow my illness to define me yet it sometimes puts me in a terrible predicament. It is life altering & restrictive, yet I focus on the good & positive. Life is to be lived with all we have & my family are my drive & will to laugh, love & live.
I WAS DIAGNOSED WITH MS BUT ONLY HAD PROBLEMS THE YEAR I WAS DIAGINODED WHICH WAS 1988. THE ONLY PROBLEM I HAVE IS THAT I HAVE WHAT FEELS LIKE BOLTS OF ELECTRICITY IN MY ARMS AND LEGS. ORIGINALLY I THOUGHT IT WAS RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME BUT AFTER READING COUNTLESS ARTICLES ON RLS I DONT THINK THAT IS THE PROBLEM. THEY (THE BOLTS) ARE QUICK JUST LIKE A BOLT OF ELECTRICITY THAT RUNS THROUGH MY LEGS AND SOMETIMES MY ARMS. ANY INFO OR TREATMENT FOR THIS WOULD BE REALLY HELPFUL. OH I DONT KNOW IF THIS MEANS ANYTHING BUT I CANT TAKE OVER THE COUNTER MEDS LIKE SLEEP AIDS , COLD MEDS ECT BECAUSE THEY MAKE THE BOLTS WORSE
Hi,I'm new to this forum,I have not been diagnosed yet,but waiting to see neuro next week to get my results from evoked potentials,bloods and Mri of brain& spine with contrast.
Most of my zaps and zings come from trigeminal neuralgia which began about three years ago,back then it was just mild zings and scalp tingling,but everything stepped up a gear last April and it led me to see my doctor,who told me it was tn and prescribed amitriptyline,which worked for a while,then attacks became more often and more vicious,like somebody hitting me with an electric pic axe every ten seconds.
I could not swallow saliva,turn my head,or even speak,without causing the pic axe to deliver a STUNNING blow to my head along with electric current that brought me to my knees. I now take gabapentin 900mg x3 daily. It takes the edge off the pain,but it is always trying to breakthrough.
The other symptoms are electric shock pain in fingers when applying pressure to grasp things,turning on taps etc; along with all the usual pins and needles,numbness,buzzing etc; I am nervous about the results,but also will be relieved to find some answers.
Sounds like the doctor is doing all the right tests. I know it is hard to wait. We all want a diagnosis to validate our symptoms. TN is tough. There are other medications to try. If it gets really bad there is gamma knife surgery but that is if it is intolerable since it can have serious side effects.
Just a quick update on my results. My Mri showed 3 non-specific lesions,not sure which part of brain,I was''nt taking it in properly,my husband said it was 4 actually,3 in one part and another somewhere else.
He wants to do a lumbar puncture to get a clearer diagnosis. Not my favourite thing to look forward to!! But has to be done. Will get that done in a few weeks time. He also repeated a blood test which was high,it was called ACE.,he said it can point to sarcoidosis.
My evoked potentials results will be chased up!! He did,not have them sent to him,but will have them in a day or two.
So,not much further on,will have to be patient and play the waiting game again,
Hi Quix I am Dogballs, and you have just described exactly what has just started occurring with me. I don't get tingling anywhere else just at base of my neck that runs right up the center of my head and feels like an electric shock. and I could be doing anything when it occurs even sitting doing nothing. It happens and then it's gone. Other wise I am 62 years old and can do anything a 42 year old can do. I am very physically fit and still SCUBA dive. Like you I am wondering is this a warning to me of something Bigger getting ready to happen. The only thing I have done recently as far as change is loose from 238 lbs to 212 lbs in about two months. My goal is to be 200 lbs or 199 lbs by 10 June. But the loss of weight should not have anything to do with this I feel. I do take a BP med once a day.
Last Oct I began feeling "pressure"/bugs drilling in very specific spots on my brain. Now, in the last month- the head thing has continued in more locations- but now am having serious continuous balance issues and new zaps and zings in my neck, left arm, legs , stomach and left ear! Had an MRI last week...white spots show up but nothing conclusive. Recently did a bunch of blood work to rule out stuff. I'm laying on the couch- not normal- and VERY FRUSTRATED. Can anyone relate?
My zapping toe/foot pain brought me to this site. It comes suddenly and unexpectedly and lasts a second at most but the intensity is enough to make me shout.
It feels like a huge electric shock and unfortunately it is occurring with increasing frequency. I don't know what it is or how to prevent it happening. I'm reluctant to see a doctor because I never know when it will happen so I can show them my symptoms.
The only upside is that when it stops there is no ongoing pain whatsoever.
Well I'm sorry to say that I'm glad I'm not alone. I had them the first time the other day. I was sick with diarrhea and then vomiting had not slept in 2/days then the 3rd night I was getting sleepy every time I would try to fall asleep I would get an excruciating electrical surge in my brain waking me up. It happened all night at least 10 or more times. The emergency room doctor gave me ativan and was able to sleep the same day it happened lightly electrical surges and after waking it was sending charges in my ears. I have slept 2 days now but want to know what causes this
Love the fact that "zaps" and "zings" are used to describe this. Makes this page much easier to find. "Lightning strike in my leg" doesn't quite hit the Google goldmine.
I don't have MS, but am on a drug (colchicine) for recurrent pericarditis with a known side effect of paresthesisas. I actually went through this with another drug years ago (Kineret). In the first case the paresthesias were pretty textbook with lots of tingling. On the cochicine, it has primarily consisted of zaps and zings that remind me of ice pick headaches, but in the leg. Like ice pick headaches there's a sudden intense sensation of ... I don't know ... stabbing, cramping, burning, electric shock ... along a very narrow pathway in my foot or leg, lasting easily less than a minute, probably no more than 30 seconds (which would be about 3 times as long as your typical ice pick headache.) So far it's worth staying on the colchicine as it only happens maybe half a dozen times a week. It seems to happen more at night (which is when I take the drug), and so creates an issue with getting to sleep.
Are folks having trouble getting this recognized as a valid paresthesia?
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