Text Size: a  |   a 

Lhermitte's Sign and MS

August 12, 2016

Often associated with multiple sclerosis, Lhermitte’s sign is better known as a sensation that travels from your neck and down to your spine, it has also been described as feeling like an electrical shock or buzzing sensation down the spine. The symptom is also called Lhermitte’s phenomenon or the barber chair phenomenon.

The phenomenon is caused by the nerves that are no longer coated with myelin, the nerves respond to movement in the neck which ultimately causes the sensation. People that have injuries or inflammation like cervical spondylitis or disc impingement also experience the symptoms of the condition, it isn’t only those with MS that experience them.

A recent study suggested that transverse myelitis, behçet’s disease and physical trauma can also cause Lhermitte’s sign.

The pain of the condition is usually most painful when the neck is bent forward or when bending the head to the chest. The pain can also become present in the arms, legs, fingers and toes. While this pain and shock-like reaction is usually very short and intermittent, it can be quite powerful.

Lhermitte’s symptoms have the possibility of being minimized through medication, posture adjustment and relaxation techniques. One could also speak with their doctor about potential treatment options best suitable for them.