L’Hermitte’s sign is an electric-shock type of sensation that runs down the spine when the head is bent forward.
About four years ago I had a particularly uncomfortable summer due to the continued heat and humidity in the months of July and August. I had been housebound for a great deal of that time and looked forward to fall when the temperatures would be more tolerable, and I could get out and around without fear of worsening symptoms.
I kept myself busy, writing one book and editing the draft of another. Then, late one September night, after way too many hours at my computer, I went to print off a copy of the day’s work. When I bent down, adding paper to the printer under my desk, I noticed this weird sensation in my legs and feet.
More than a tingling, it was a shock-like sensation. I was used to some numbness and tingling. It went with the swollen feet and ankles, the result of sitting too long with my feet down. So, I ignored it.
Then one day I was in the car and reached down for something I’d dropped on the floor, and it happened again. It was like a game at first, when I realized I could make it happen. Every time I flexed my neck I got that shock-like sensation, not only in my legs, but down my body.
My brain may be slow, but the memory finally kicked in. I remembered reading about this some years before, when I was first diagnosed.
So, I did some research and found Lhermitte’s Sign. And now I had reason to be concerned, as to have a positive Lhermitte’s Sign, as a new symptom, indicated a new lesion in the cervical spine.
My doctor ordered a new set of MRIs which confirmed an increase in the number of lesions in my brain, and numerous lesions in the cervical cord. I had a new symptom, which meant I was having a relapse.