Named after the person who first described it, Jacques Jean Lhermitte. The condition also is known as Barber Chair Phenomenon, and occasionally referred to as Lhermitte Sign, characterises an electric-shock-like sensation felt down the spine when the head is flexed forwards.

You might be like me and associate Lhermitte’s Symptom with Multiple Sclerosis.

However, Lhermitte sign can occur in other conditions where trauma exists in the cervical portion of the spinal cord.

Conditions such as electrolyte imbalance, cervical cord tumour, cervical spondylosis, or even vitamin B12 deficiency.

I have experienced Lhermitte sign, where the sensation shoots down the spine, but in some cases it can radiate out through the arms or legs.

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Lhermitte Sign

Lhermitte Sign Multiple Sclerosis Indicator

As part of my curation of this Blog. I am revising and refreshing the content of the blog posts.

I had a paragraph here, trying to explain the workings of the nerves involved in the transmission of the Lhermitte’s Symptom. But, it was a very technical and medical interpretation. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t understand a word of it.

I am in the process of curating a lot of my old posts. And I cannot remember either writing the original paragraph or understanding any of it.

Clearly, I had found some related information to Lhermitte’s Sign and thought it might make me sound knowledgeable if I included it here.

However, what I have learned in my years of blogging is the need to be genuine and honest. Those words were not my words. They did not read well, and they scored very poorly in my Yoast SEO readability test.

I imagine that Lhermitte Sign might only occur in patients with spinal Multiple Sclerosis. The flexing of the neck somehow exacerbating the already impaired nerves in this region. Where the demyelination has occurred only in cranial nerves. It is improbable that this indicator would ocur.

But, I have not had these shooting pains for many years, so I guess my disease activity has migrated elsewhere.

However, I have no wish to sound like a hypochondriac but, I am sure that is how I will be perceived.  There are a number of MS Signs like this Romberg’s Sign, and I experience them all most notably Uhthoff’s Symptom or a need to avoid the summer heat.

Multiple Sclerosis Sensation

My name is Stephen Walker and I was diagnosed with MS in 1994. Since that time, I have experienced many unusual sensations and emotions associated with chronic illness. However, Multiple Sclerosis has, paradoxically, given me purpose in life.

The sensations that I have felt can only be described as unusual feelings. But, having spoken with other MSers. It can be a very painful experience.

Multiple Sclerosis is a neurological condition. Where the immune system attacks the myelin or protective sheath surrounding the nerves in the brain or spinal cord. If the damage to the myelin is severe the underlying nerves can be irreparably harmed.

Barber’s Chair Phenomenon

Lhermitte?s sign, also known as Barber’s Chair Phenomenon, is caused by nerves that are no longer coated with myelin. These damaged nerves respond to the movement of your neck, which causes sensations from your neck to your spine.

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The main symptom of Lhermitte?s sign is an electric sensation that travels down your neck and back. You may also have this feeling in your arms, legs, fingers, and toes. The shocklike feeling is often short and intermittent. However, it can feel quite powerful while it lasts.

Origin of Lhermitte’s Phenomenon

Lhermitte?s sign was first documented in 1924 by French neurologist Jean Lhermitte.

Lhermitte consulted on a case of a woman who complained of stomach pain, diarrhea, poor coordination on the left side of her body, and an inability to rapidly flex her right hand.

These symptoms are consistent with what is now known as multiple sclerosis. The woman also reported an electric sensation in her neck, back, and toes, which was later named Lhermitte?s syndrome.

Treatment for Lhermitte’s Sign

It is most likely that any occurrence of Lhermitte’s Sign will not require any treatment. Like many MS symptoms, it will appear and disappear unexpectedly.

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Related Posts

Multiple Sclerosis is a Mental Health Problem
Seasonal Affective Disorder Winter Blues
Dysarthria an MS speech impediment

References

Who Named It?
McFox?s Page
Resolution of Lhermitte?s Sign in multiple sclerosis on PubMed

A lot of work has gone into bringing you this post. We hope you found it interesting and informative. If you have a question, please ask it in the comments at the foot of this post.

If you don’t have a question you can use the comment to say “Hi”. If you have MS – stay strong and follow the warrior code.

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Lhermitte Sign or Barber Chair Phenomenon

Stephen Walker is a blogger who has been living with Multiple Sclerosis or MS since 1994. He devotes a lot of time to researching this dreadful autoimmune disease, looking for answers and possible treatments.

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