In the past month I have been experiencing a mild to strong "shock" sensation
sometimes multiple times a day. It's hard to pinpoint where it starts, as it
happens in a "flash" and lasts only seconds. It feels like it travels through
my body and afterward, my arms and hands feel tingly and "weak". Also, it seems
to be brought on by movement; getting up from a chair or simply taking steps
when I walk.
The term "Lhermittes sign" was brought up. Also my Doctor said it could also
be small seizures. I sometimes have an electrolyte disturbance and dehydration
due to chronic colitis. Could this somehow be related to the "shock" sensations?
What exactly is Lhermitte's sign? What does it mean? This is a frightening
symptom as it is just so bizarre! Any easy to understand explanation here would
be gratefully received!!! Thank you in advance for your help!
Confused and Curious
Thanks for your question. Lhermitte's sign is a sensation of electric-like
shock, very sudden, with very short duration (less than a second), spreading
from the neck region to arms and legs, and usually triggered by a flexion
of the neck (forward). It can occur in processes that affect the spinal
cord (particularly the white matter of the cord), such as Multiple Sclerosis.
It is a poorly localizing sign, that is, it is difficult to predict the
location of the lesion from the character of the symptoms, except pointing
to the spinal cord. It is less likely that the sign is triggered only by
electrolyte imbalance, in the absence of any other neurological symptoms,
although it is not impossible for such a linkage. If these symptoms are
occurring often, I strongly suggest that you should be evaluated by your
I hope this information is helpful. Best of luck.
This information is provided for general medical education purposes only.
Please consult your doctor regarding diagnostic and treatment options.
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