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Old 12-24-2007, 04:05 PM   #1
Susie Rosenberg
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Default Electric Shock Sensations when lifting?

The last couple of times I did deadlifts (with someone watching my form), I experienced L'Hermitte sign: a sensation akin to an electric shock traveling down my arms. The weights were actually fairly light at the time.

I'm assuming in my case, it's caused by cervical spine issues, since one year ago, I had two herniated discs and now I have plates and screws at C5/6 and C6/7. My doctors told me I have a fair amount of osteoarthritis of the cervical spine.

I know I need to evaluate this with my physician, but I'm wondering how pathological this symptom might be....in other words, does anyone else experience this, and if so, what's do you do about it?

Have you heard of this before?

Thanks so much,
Susie
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Old 12-24-2007, 04:37 PM   #2
Garrett Smith
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I'd guess your assumption is correct.

First thing first, I'd suggest keeping a neutral cervical posture while lifting, ie. head in line with spine, not looking parallel to the ground or (even worse) up.

Get off the nightshades, if you aren't already.

Maybe check to see if this happens only on one style of DLs (ie. "normal" or sumo). There could be a difference due to the change in angle of the arms in relation to the torso and the torso-to-ground angle.

With plates and screws already in place, unless it is remedied some other way, I'd say early on that ditching DLs would be a small price to pay.
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Old 12-24-2007, 05:34 PM   #3
Kevin Perry
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I tend to have this issue with my left wrist when doing the press. I wish I could help you but I have not had the issue for a while and im not sure if it could have been diet related or what.
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Old 12-24-2007, 07:02 PM   #4
William Hunter
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Hey Susie,

As you know, anything bilateral in the extremities should cause a good bit more concern than when just one arm is affected. For obvious reasons, the spinal cord itself has to be ruled out first before other options are entertained.

Hopefully, as Garrett mentioned, the worst that happens is that you give up nightshades, or DL's, or both.

However, while you experiment with his suggestions, I would not be too far away from an updated MRI to check on stenosis from an adjacent or nearby spinal level.

Good luck.
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Old 12-25-2007, 08:15 AM   #5
Susie Rosenberg
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Thanks, folks. It was wishful thinking on my part to hope you'd tell me, "oh, yeah, everybody gets that."

I think I felt it on both sides, but moreso on the left....I will try DLing with head neutral and see what happens, but if the symptom persists, will have to lay off DLs and see the doc.

Phooey. That's all I can say. Phooey.

Susie
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Old 12-25-2007, 08:57 PM   #6
Mohamed F. El-Hewie
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Default Neuralgia

Neuralgia
Quote:
Originally Posted by Susie Rosenberg View Post
The last couple of times I did deadlifts (with someone watching my form), I experienced L'Hermitte sign: a sensation akin to an electric shock traveling down my arms. The weights were actually fairly light at the time.

I'm assuming in my case, it's caused by cervical spine issues, since one year ago, I had two herniated discs and now I have plates and screws at C5/6 and C6/7. My doctors told me I have a fair amount of osteoarthritis of the cervical spine.

I know I need to evaluate this with my physician, but I'm wondering how pathological this symptom might be....in other words, does anyone else experience this, and if so, what's do you do about it?

Have you heard of this before?

Thanks so much,
Susie
1) You sort of answered your own question, to some extent. Whether the herniated discs still the underlying cause of pinching the cervical roots of the nerves, or the unstable muscular support of the neck is causing the roots to get pinched, remains unknown.

2) Osteoarthritis would not cause pain that shot remotely. Osteoarthritis is a local joint disease that causes localized pain.

3) Would a calcium deficiency cause acute neuralgia (nerve pain) upon compression?

4) Nerve pinching could also be caused by weak and unconditioned muscles that thin out when stretched and squeeze the underlying nerve. A good example is the winging of the scapula that is caused by lifting heavy dumbbells. In that case, the Trapezius muscle thins out under tension and severs the long thoracic nerve that supplies the muscles that hold the scapulas to the chest. The muscle becomes paralyzed and the recovery takes few months for the nerve re-grow.
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Old 12-26-2007, 05:44 AM   #7
Garrett Smith
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Susie,
Does the sensation run down any particular side of your arms, to any particular fingers, perhaps?

One important thing I concentrate on while lifting is consciously relaxing/releasing my posterior neck muscles, that may help with any impingement that is going on.

If you need any suggestions as to therapies you might utilize, ask here or PM me.
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Old 12-26-2007, 07:52 AM   #8
Susie Rosenberg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett Smith View Post
Susie,
Does the sensation run down any particular side of your arms, to any particular fingers, perhaps?

One important thing I concentrate on while lifting is consciously relaxing/releasing my posterior neck muscles, that may help with any impingement that is going on.

If you need any suggestions as to therapies you might utilize, ask here or PM me.
I think it runs down to the thumb-side, but I'm not certain. Next time I DL, I will pay more attention to the symptom, but I guess I'm resigning myself to being tentative about weight lifting, especially heavy, given the condition of my neck. (I know from my experience a year ago, I have osteophytes and areas of osteoarthritis at other levels. I need to not herniate whatever discs are left in there! Two are already gone and fused, limiting my ROM, especially in extension.)

If the structure is weak, what can be done about that, other than eliminate nightshades, get adequate calcium and Vit. D, and take fish oil? (All of which I do!)

Sheesh, this is just no fun. I wanted a 200 lb. DL, and it looks like it ain't gonna happen.

Susie
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Old 12-26-2007, 09:27 AM   #9
Steven Low
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The thumb is C6 I believe.

It is possible to try to open up more space (cervical traction.. manual or machine) or eliminate swelling if it's there. Although since it only occurs when you DL, it's probably that you need to keep the head neutral most like most have been saying.
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Old 12-26-2007, 10:06 AM   #10
Garrett Smith
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Susie,
I'd look into finding a Z-Health trainer in your area to teach you mobility exercises for your neck & thoracic spine. See www.zhealth.net to find someone or email them through their site.

Even with fusion(s), the rest of the "normal" spine needs to be mobilized in order to maintain proper health. In your case, I'd definitely suggest going to someone who has proper training.
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