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symptoms
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This forum is for questions and support regarding neurology issues such as: Alzheimer's Disease, ALS, Autism, Brain Cancer, Cerebral Palsy, Chronic Pain, Epilepsy, Fibromyalgia, Headaches, MS, Neuralgia, Neuropathy, Parkinson's Disease, RSD, Sleep Disorders, Stroke, Traumatic Brain Injury.

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symptoms

I have DDD at c5, c6 and c7, also mild stenosis at those levels. My question is that I am having severe headaches as well as electrical shocks down my spine and legs whenever I flex my neck. It is worse when I walk. The headaches come on when ever my neck starts hurting. I also get the tingling sensation in both my arms and my right index finger goes numb and gets very cold. Is this something I should worry about and is it the DDD and stenosis making these things happen.
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with your doctor.

Without the ability to examine you and obtain a history, I can not tell you what the exact cause of your symptoms is. However I will try to provide you with some useful information.

The symptoms you describe of leg pain while walking may be referred to as neurogenic claudication. If your symptoms improve when you bed over/lean forward or sit down, this would support this as a possibility. The cause of this is spinal canal stenosis, and would result most commonly from spinal canal stenosis at the lumbar (as opposed to the cervical level). People who have cervical degenerative disc disease (DDD) often also have lumbar DDD.

Your headaches and the shooting pains you feel when you bend your neck could be explained by your cervical DDD. Your headaches may be cervicogenic headaches. Cervicogenic headache is a headache that is "referred" to the head from bony structures, muscles, and other soft tissue in the neck and shoulders. Symptoms are usually one-sided and include: precipitation of head pain by neck movement or awkward neck positions, head pain when external pressure is applied to the neck or occipital region, restricted range of motion of the neck, and neck, shoulder and arm pain. Treatment for cervicogenic headache includes physical therapy, medications, behavioral therapy, and other modalities.

Another possible cause for your headaches is occipital neuralgia is caused by irritation or injury to two nerves that run from the upper neck to the back of the head. The irritation could be due to  neck trauma, pinching of the nerves (by muscles or arthritis), and other causes. Symptoms include a piercing sharp pain that travels from the upper neck to the back of the head and behind the ears. It is usually a one sided pain but can be on both sides of the head. Treatment includes physical therapy, medications, and in some cases injections, "nerve blocks", during which a physician injects the irritated nerves with an anesthetic.

When neurogenic claudication is occurring, and when there are frequent headaches and sensory symptoms such as it sounds like is the case in you, re-evaluation by a neurologist is recommended (i.e. it would be best to follow-up with a physician instead of attributing your symptoms to your known DDD and not seeing a physician). If you have not had an MRI of your spine recently, since your symptoms started to worsen, this may be indicated, to see if your DDD has progressed. DDD can sometimes progress and if there is progressive impingement on the spinal cord, severe canal stenosis, or severe nerve impingement, surgery is sometimes indicated. If this does not turn out to be the case, you may benefit from evaluation by a headache specialist to address your headaches.

Thank you for using the forum I hope you find this information useful, good luck.
3 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
Hello, I have almost the same thing.   When I bend down my head I get buzzing(not electrical shock) in my hands or above the knee or my toes its changing. I fell nothing on my spin no electrical shock nothing.
I'm wondering could that buzzind be the begining of a Lhermitte sign or its anxiety again? I'm very scared all the time that I have MS and Its not visible on the MRI's ;(
Here is my history of the symptoms:
In March 2006 after 1-2 moths of stress I started seeing floaters, being off balance, tingling buzzing numbness in hands and foot, thiches all over, my right thigh started cramping(but only when I'm walking). I had blurred vision, weak forearms (If I lift something they strated to hurt and cramp) Also my muscles were jerking I can see them, my tongue started to sore I lost my taste for 2-3 weeks my calfs cramped etc. Then I started to feel my left leg and arm very weak I did EMG which was ok.
After 12-13 months suffering and googling I went to neuro, all physical exams were ok, no Babinski, I have abdominal reflexes I did MRI of my head - it was ok,, then 19 months ago I did c-spine and upper throatic - again normal.  

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Avatar_m_tn
Also I have one more question.    
Is it possible to have L'hermittes due to MS and  normal reflexes, no Babinski?
I mean if I have c-spin lesion (not seen on MRI) it  will be L'hermittes, but I have normal reflexes and I do not have Babinski as neuro said?
So my buzzing(not radiating only buzing changes in the body) when I flex my neck is not L'hermittes ? True ot faulse?
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