Last reply 6 years ago
Question about Lhermitte's sign

So, over the course of the past 10 years, I’ve experienced something that no one has been able to understand, but with my recent research on MS and it’s symptoms, I’ve come to believe this is Lhermitte’s sign, but I wanted to ask some people that have experienced this to check if this is the same thing.

So I’ll explain the first occurrence, as it is one of the better examples of how this happened.

I was driving my car, delivering pizzas for a local pizza place, and I wanted to switch the CD I was listening to. My CD wallet was on the passenger seat, and when I turned my head to look at the CDs (tilted my head forward and to the right slightly) I got this crazy feeling I could only describe at the time as a shock that spread from my neck, just below my ear, down to about half-way down my back. Another way I’ve come to describe that sensation is that it’s like someone took that set of muscles and just snapped them like a kid with an elastic. It only lasted for about a second then it was gone, but it still scared the hell out of me, making me pull over and regain my nerves.

Since then, I’ve experienced this maybe 15-20 times, all when doing the same neck movements.

So my question to you is, what does Lhermitte’s sign feel like to you, and does it occur every time you move your head forward, or is it a random chance type of thing?

Thanks in advance for the replies guys/girls =D You guys have been great so far, and very welcoming into your community, even though I am still waiting on a diagnosis (and a reliable doctor that is remotely interested in my condition)

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6 years ago

That is what is considered a “classic” MS symptom. I get the same sensation in my right leg lately. Lhermitte’s is from bending the neck and can shoot into the limbs, but I feel like I get tazered in the leg sometimes when I take a step. Crazy feeling, only lasts for a second, and happens to me usually a few times a day.

6 years ago

Strange… I’ve mentioned this to both my family physician and a neurologist at a recent visit and they didn’t even blink an eye. Both of them came to a 5 minute diagnosis of “Stress and anxiety/depression” despite me telling them that I live a pretty stress-free life.

6 years ago

Hello Reddread
Yes Ive had this, lasted for about two months, drove me mad! everytime I bent my head down an electric shock feeling travelled down my spine, legs and right through to my toes, I used to be able to watch it curl my toes up it was that severe! it has gone now and I dont want it back!!

6 years ago

I had this during a bad relapse, it wasn’t entirely unpleasant!! It was just a strange tingly/shooting sensation. It improved along with the rest of my symptoms after steroids.

6 years ago

I get a similar sensation – although I am not sure if it is actually Lhermitte’s or just an effect of the severe spasticity I have. But when I tilt my chin down towards my chest or down side to side toward my shoulders I get a severe shot of pain down my spine.
Not sure if I would describe it as an electric shock (although it is sudden and severe) and I’m not sure I would call it an ache or a buzz or a tingle. Although any of those descriptions almost touch on the sensation. Its quite painful though.

6 years ago

Yep Chels that’s Lhermittes! Welcome to the club!!! Just ANOTHER of our little symptoms!

6 years ago

every time i bend my head forward i get fuzzy tingling in the areas that are affected by the ms at the time. this varies depending if my relapse is recent or if i’m getting back to relative normality. so can mean all my legs, back, arms etc or just my hands and feet. i’ve had the other type of eleectric shock pain, i’ve also spoken to people who don’t have ms who have experienced this. i think it’s a nerve being pinched and released quickly. my sister told me that her friend did this it at work once when she was reaching awkwardly for something, she had never experienced it before and was in floods of tears she thought she needed an ambulance because she’d broken her neck. i think my sister thought it was hilarious, so i wouldn’t expect a doctor to take too much notice of this, it can and does happen to anyone. if it happens a lot it would be more of an indicator.

6 years ago

I get this. If I bend my head forward, it starts to feel like a cellphone buzzing on my tailbone. If I keep bending my head forward, it will shoot like a bolt of lightning from my tailbone down my legs.

Seems to be my new normal, because it’s been going on for months. Hurray!

6 years ago

Well FFS! I didn’t realise that was MS related. I get those regularly. I thought it was a sort of shock from a trapped nerve or something like it. It’s most unpleasant, just like an electric shock and bloody painful for the seconds it lasts.
You learn something new everyday!
I’ve had it in the spine from neck down and in the legs too. I’ve never been zapped with a tazer, but if that’s what it’s like, I’m glad I’m a law abiding citizen. Lol.

6 years ago

Sometimes when I look down I get spasms in my left leg. It’s not repeatable, and I have to be standing up for it to happen. It doesn’t hurt though…

6 years ago

I cant tilt my head down to where my chin touches my chest. I get the shooting pain down my spine every time. Its been like that for years. I just found out a few months ago that it was MS related. I try to remember just not to do that but of course theres sometimes when I forget. There are medications that can help. I have an appointment with my MS doctor on the 1st to discuss some options.

6 years ago

Yep without a shaddow of doubt what you describe is Lhermitte’s sign – Its wrong for your GP/Nueorolgist to sit there all nonchalant about it. Put your mind at ease – you’ve got it ! – And you dont need the offical stamp from “the man” to tell you before you accept your lot. For me it randomly appears and goes depending on how active my symptons are. Its the only symptom I have that is transient. Funny enough I get the same buzzing, shock like sensation as well after a good long shag – How weirds that ! 🙂

6 years ago


6 years ago

yes l’hermittes, compressed nerves………mine come & goes …nothing to do realy except enjoy the buzz.hope it doesn’t trouble you too much

6 years ago

Yea i’ve had Lhermitte’s sign, everytime i bent my head forward i used to get a tingling or buzzing from my neck to mid back or my bum. Only ever did it whn i bent forward, happened a few times but i havent had it for a very long time now, dont worry too much just try to go along with it x

6 years ago

hello everyone,

I saw the last answer to this thread was in July but I would be really gratful if anyone is still around and could help answer this question:

Ive had some strange (mostly sensory) symptoms on and off for a year. Recently I suddenly noticed that whenever I bent my head to my chest, the back of my leg started buzzing/vibrating. It was like swtiching a switch, when i bent my head my leg buzzed and when i lifted my head my leg stopped buzzing. And the buzzing was very clear and always in the same location. HOWEVER, this only lasted for about 3 days! Is it possible for Lhermittes sign (or a form of it) to be so short lived? After 2-3 days the head bending/buzzing thing was gone just as suddenly as it had come.

If anyone has any thoughts on this id be really grateful 🙂

Thanks, S

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