Could this be L'hermitte's?

If it's on your mind and it has to do with multiple sclerosis in any way, post it here.
Post Reply
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:34 pm

Could this be L'hermitte's?

Post by acordeon » Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:48 pm

Can L'hermitte's sign be intermittent? Or if you have it, does it happen every time you bend your neck? And do you always feel it in the back or limbs? Or can it be mostly felt in the head?

For almost a year now, I've been experiencing a symptom that is somewhere between an electrical zap and a vibration. It's over very quickly - just a momentary jolt. I mostly feel it in my head, toward the back. Often it's just in the head. Occasionally I feel it in my chest, too. Almost like there's a string connecting the back of my head to the center of my chest, and it's just been plucked. At first I thought it was a cardiac/vascular thing, but I had a heart monitor, and it showed no abnormal cardiac activity when this was symptom occurs.

I have noticed that it tends to happen when my neck is bent, or when my whole body is bent over - and in fact it has happened several times in a barber's chair. But it doesn't happen every time I bend my neck. Far from it. I can't make it happen by moving in a particular way. And it also happens when my neck isn't bent, at random times. It's even happened when I'm lying in bed, flat on my back.

Could this be L'hermitte's, or does it have to be something else? Anyone else have L'hermitte's that behaves like this?

Thanks, everyone!

User avatar
Volunteer Moderator
Posts: 11819
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2006 3:00 pm
Been thanked: 4 times

Re: Could this be L'hermitte's?

Post by jimmylegs » Mon Jul 29, 2013 4:00 am

it does sound like lhermitte's. mine has been gone for so long I can't remember if I could set it off intentionally. I think it was more like, if it was 'on' I could then intentionally aggravate the sensation.
take control of your own health
pursue optimal self care at least as actively as a diagnosis
ask for referrals to preventive health care specialists eg dietitians
don't let suboptimal self care muddy any underlying diagnostic picture!

Family Elder
Posts: 116
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:21 pm
Location: SF

Re: Could this be L'hermitte's?

Post by mmpetunia » Mon Jul 29, 2013 5:30 pm

it's possible that it could be lhermittes. mine was a very different experience than that. i would get intense pins and needles/tingling in my legs and sometimes in the pinky and ring fingers of both hands when i would flex my neck. it was an intermittent thing, i didn't always get it when i would flex my neck and it varied as far as when i did flex my neck exactly which body parts would be affected. if it was really bad then both hands and ALL of my legs would tingle. what really seemed to flare it up was walking. the longer i walked the worse the symptoms became and less neck flexion would be needed to elicit the tingles. at it's worst, i was able to walk continuously for about 10 minutes before the symptoms became overwhelming. lhermittes was a fairly disabling experience for me, but everyone is different.

the lhermittes continued for 6 months before it finally went away. the doc's theory about why walking increased the lhermittes was that my body temperature would rise and cause more symptoms. i think it was a pretty good theory. last summer, i would occasionally get tingling if i was out in the heat walking around but it was very mild. this summer i haven't had any issues even after a 20 mile two day backpacking trip so i think the lesion has healed.

the fact that it happens even while you are laying flat on your back in bed makes me question whether it's lhermittes, as my understanding is that the hallmark of lhermittes is sensory symptoms upon neck flexion. this happens because neck flexion increases the tension on the spinal cord which stretches the damaged area causing faulty signals to be sent out. however, i am not by any means an expert. it might be time to speak with a neuro or perhaps a doc who specializes in spinal cord problems about these symptoms and get some input.
Dx: 9/8/11 RRMS
OMS diet plus lean poultry
Tecfidera as of 8/21/2014
18+ brain lesions and 6 spinal lesions
EDSS 1.5-2

Post Reply