Lhermitte's sign – pins and needles/electric shock sensation – when moving head forward after head trauma/whiplash. It really sucks.

Following fairly heavy concussion and whiplash from a road traffic accident in early 2011 i started to recover pretty quickly (within a couple of weeks i was up and about and working). About 10 weeks after the accident, however, i started to notice tingling/electric sensations in my fingertips when i moved my head in certain ways. Over the following  weeks this sensation became stronger when eventually, at its worst, my entire body would light up in pins and needles with the slightest forward motion of my head.

Internet research and self-diagnosis didn’t help much and some of the stuff which I uncovered in web forums was frankly alarming. I eventually uncovered an article on the Journal of Neurosurgery dating back to the 80’s where a Canadian neurologist did a study of this effect turning up several months after head/neck trauma in a number of patients. The study involved a small number (8-10 i think) of cases and in every one the problem eventually resolved (went away). 

In my case, it stayed really bad for a couple of months, but then the “volume” slowly started to back off a bit. Within about 3 months it was manageable and within 6 months i was pretty-much gone. 

Because I couldn’t find any particularly useful info on what this weird pins and needles thing is, what causes it to appear several months after a trauma and what the outlook is once you have it, i hope my experience can help anyone who is going through the same thing.

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