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L’hermittes phenomenon

There is pain I have in my back when I bend my neck down and a shooting, shocking pain is sent down my back.  I have had this pain now for EIGHT years. A few years I went to the doctors and they just kept referring me and referring me and referring me to 7 different doctors. I have been to my main doctor, an orthopedic, an orthopedic specialist, a scoliosis specialist, a neurologist, a chiropractor, and a physical therapist. I have had xrays, MRI’s, and an EMG done. None of them knew what was wrong. The final consensus was they do not know and suggested a shot of cortizone. I have not been to any doctors since all them and that was years and years ago. I still have this pain today. I literally can alone bend my neck forward about an inch or 2 before I am in massive pain and can’t go any further.

I recently came about something. It’s a condition called “L’hermittes phenomenon” which is when you bend your head down, a very painful electric shock shoots down your back and possibly to your feet. This is a sign of M.S. My pain only goes halfway down my back. I do not know if I actually have this sign but it sounds very close.  What should I do here? Could I possibly have M.S or something wrong with my spine? This pain has been part of my life now and I am 21 years old. I don’t know what else to do
1 Responses
987762 tn?1331027953
COMMUNITY LEADER
Hi and welcome,

Your saying you've been experiencing intense pain that travels halfway down your back (spine) when you bend your neck forward as little as an inch or two since you were a child of 12 or 13, and despite numerous tests and different dr consults you still have no idea what could be causing this.....and now your wondering if it might be Lhermitties and a sign of MS.

Technically the Lhermitte's phenomenon generally occurs with pathologies involving the cervical spinal cord but it is not specific in origin, so whilst it is associated with MS, even if what you've been experiencing since childhood was determined to be Lhermitte's, a spinal cord lesion (ie MS) would only be one of the possible causes.

Honestly, neurological conditions like MS would be one of your least likely causes specifically due to it's paediatric beginning, lack of developing any additional MS related symptoms over an 8 year time frame and what i can only assume was the absence of suggestive-consistent objective test evidence of spinal cord lesion(s) at the time....

Thinking of test evidence, because you were a child at the time you may not be fully informed about the specific details of your test results so i'd advice you to get copies of all those reports and consider seeing another orthopaedic specialist for reassessment now that your an adult.

Keep in mind that 8 years is a long enough time frame for things like developmental spinal issues eg mild scoliosis, an over curvature of your cervical spine etc etc to be more clearly evident now your spine is fully developed, which btw is actually what happened with my daughter, who around the same age as you did also first started experiencing back problems but she wasn't diagnosed with a double curvature of her spine (mild scoliosis) until she was about your age, her childhood tests showed nothing specifically abnormal but her adult tests clearly showed her spine didn't develop straight like it's suppose to....just a thought for you to consider that is unrelated to neurological explanations like MS.

Hope that helps......JJ

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