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Posted by ccf neuro M.D. on May 11, 1997 at 16:42:16:
In Reply to: Electric Shock Like Feeling posted by Rose Mac Leod on May 05, 1997 at 19:36:42:
: For the last 6-8 months, I have had what feels like a
mild electric shock down my arms when I bend my neck
forward. At times I also get tingling in different parts
of my legs when I bend my neck forward. This tingling happens
when I'm tired or if I have walked a long time. Also I
had weakness and frequent tingling in my left leg. I also find that I;m
very tired and spend a great deal of time in bed. I had a ovary removed
ovary removed two years ago, could these symptoms have
anything to do with that? Or they anything that I should be concerned
about? Tnanks for any help>
Rose, Yes, this particular sensation is something you should be concerned about. It is known as Lhermitte's phenomenon, and is related most often to inflammation or other damage to tracts of nerve fibers called the posterior columns in the spinal cord in the neck. It may sometimes be caused by compression of the spinal cord in the neck as well, resulting from either arthritis plus or minus slippage of the vertebral bones in the neck when bending. Rarely tumors can compress the spine and sometimes cause these types of symptoms, although more commonly it is inflammation (like that caused by multiple sclerosis or certain rare infections) or arthritis. I would strongly advise you to see a neurologist as soon as possible so that these potentially serious underlying causes can be diagnosed or excluded promptly, before there might be any chance of permanent nerve damage. Until you know what this is, I would also suggest taking what are called "whiplash precautions"--- specifically keeping the headrest of your car
high up behind your head, and avoiding any sport or activity that might result in you falling and/or hitting your head. If you are near the Cleveland area and would like to see a Cleveland Clinic neurologist, our appointment line is 216-444-5559. If Cleveland is not near you, I would recommend proceeding to the nearest large, teaching hospital/medical center.
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