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Electric shocks

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:19 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Diagnosed with bulged C5/6 disc, DJD of neck, bone spurs in neck (among other things, but need to talk about my neck today). I have off and on for the past couple years been experiencing these electric shock symptoms. Feels like I'm sucking on a 9-volt battery. It is terrible, especially if I am walking about. Last night it began again, so bad, lasted forever. My neck hurts and is spasming. I dont understand why I keep getting this. My drs swear all my diagnoses have nothing to do with my pain or these electric shock feelings. They can't tell me what is the cause though. I am getting very worried, as I almost thought I was gonna pass out last night it was getting so bad. Has anyone else experienced this terrible thing, with these diagnoses? What do you do, take, and what type of dr do you see? I see a nuero dr, but he is about to be FIRED!


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846
    I've been through herniations of C5/C6 and later C6/C7 and both times required ACDF surgeries and then an additional surgery on C6/C7 for some bone spurs and more.

    Never during that 6 year period of time do I have what you described as electric shocks.

    I did have nerve pain, which is more of a stabbing burning pain, but I could never describe it as like electric shocks.

    I could understand based on your diagnosis why your doctor can not related your shock pain. You mention a bulge Disc at C5/C6, which sorta implies it has not impinged on a nerve root. What else has the MRI report told you? Perhaps there is something else going on. Are you seeing a Neurologist or Neurosurgeon for this? Perhaps an EMG test by a Neurologist is possible if they feel it is warranted.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • hello, Could this be Lhermitte's sign? The electric shocks your describing sounds like Lhermitte's sign. Try googling this, and see if it describes your symptoms.
  • If you could explain where the electric shocks seem to originate and where they travel to, it will help answer your questions and may also help you explain it to your doc better.

    I am quite used to electric shocks. I have occipital neuralgia on the left side, of the greater and lesser occipital nerves. Both nerves can generate electric shocks that will stop me in my tracks. No warning. I had surgery for the greater occipital last year and several RF ablations for the lesser this year. Knock on wood, for the moment they are quiet.

    The nerve roots come out of C-2 and C-3 and head and neck position can generate the shocks as well as typical burning nerve pain.

    Some folks have experienced this type of pain into their arms and hands. Some into their face.

    If you can describe or map out the area of these shocks and whether they come in groups or after certain activities or head and neck positions, it might help.

  • I described the symptoms I had as electric shocks, but I'm not sure if that's the same feeling that you're having. When I'd turn my head to the left I would get a shock from my left arm pit down to my thumb. It felt like an electric shock running down my arm. Definitely due to the nerve root compression at C4-C5.
  • The shocks come when I walk. I am almost 99% sure they are coming from the neck. It is not PAIN. It is just being shocked, so it is an overall body feeling. Zap, Zap, Zap. It isn't something I grab my neck or whatever and say ohhh that was weird. It is just this feeling of being electrocuted as I walk. It is always when my neck is acting up, feels swollen inside, etc. So, i am fairly positive it is from my neck. I have been told before I have occipital neuralgia, but they haven't done anything about it, and dont act as if these shocks are from that. My MRI has said, bulged disc at C5/6, not impinging on nerves, no disc space narrowing. DJD of those same discs, and bone spurs. Pretty much it for that area of the body. but nonstop pain and spasms and shocks and soreness in my neck from the base of my skull down through my shoulders. Along with burning, thru my shoulder blades, both sides, like someone is pouring hot candle wax down my back. I describe in detail to my Neurologist. I have asked to see a NS, but he says i dont need to. I have called one myself, and they will not see me without referral. I hav asked to see an Ortho dr also, he says I dont need that either. yet he wont do anything for me.
  • How long have you been being treated by the same neurologist?

    Reason I ask, is that the first neurologist I was being treated by spent 6 months and lots of drugs trying to help me out. He was replaced by a young new neurologist who within 30 minutes had a proper diagnosis and started me on a correct treatment plan.


  • Two years, so many tests I should glow in the dark, many meds that really don't help.. I think it is just the DJD causing the pain, and he refuses to admit it. I have been reading a lot on here, and other places and it seems to me people suffer from it. Why won't he except that as a reason? I just want to be able to sit, stand, work, sleep, live, without pain. I dont think it will ever happen. I have managed to get myself into a psysiatrist next week, so hopefully he can help?
  • listen to you, fire him! The MD is your employee. You are in charge of your care. Oftentimes they want us to hand over our souls to them for the privilege of giving them our copayment. If after two years the MD isn't able to help you feel more comfortable, then get another consult. And don't rule out acupuncture. It helped me a lot with electrical impulses that used to wake me up at night.\

    Good luck.
  • Someone walking up behind you and hitting you with a cattle prod

    Someone walking up behind you and hitting you with a high power tazer

    Someone walking up behind you and dropping a high power line on you

    Sudden, without warning, no idea how long it will last, how frequent it will happen, when it will happen ...

    Oh yes, loads of fun that I can relate to!

  • BG, problem is, that if you leave too many typos, those of us taking neurontin may forget how those words are really supposed to be spelled!

    Maybe that's why this and electric shocks go together. The ols electric shock therapy for us crazies. =))
  • I get electric feeling shocks mostly in my right forearm and hand. and at times in my lower legs and feet. they just come out of the blue
    sometimes when i move my head down to my chest i will get a shock all the way down my body like i was struck by lightening

    but the ones in my arms,hands,legs and feet dont last long they shock me and are very aggravating more and more as days go by, and i find my self immediately touching and rubbing the area and it goes away.. does this sound familiar in anyway.to any one?patsy
  • I cannot have my head turned to the left when I swallow without getting an enormous electical-type shock. The shock is brief but intense. It radiates from my left neck to my left shoulder - and all points in between. Scares the living crap out of me. It ONLY happens on my left side, when my head is turned left, and I use my throat muscles - which to this point has been swallowing (with or without food/drink).

    Anyone ever heard of this - or better yet - had this happen to them?

    Lookin' for any suggestions,

  • Hi I had a 2 level ADR in Sept this year and am recovering (slowly pain remains) I used to get electric shocks when I fell to sleep I think mine was linked to the medications I was trying it was pretty awful I used to wake feeling a kettle of boling water had been thrown over me! I havent hadn anything since my surgery. I really hope you can sort out what is causing this all the best Maz
  • I was just looking up what could be causing my electric shock pain. I have gotten them in my back, under the shoulder blade, on my side where your gallbladder is and also bottom of my feet. I know they have occurred after lifting or doing raking. I also have a c5/c6 herniation and also DDD of c6/7. I also would like to know if anyone know what could be causing this. I also have occipital neuralgia.

  • Well spoke with my PCP and he said it was due to muscle spasm. Have others been told the same thing?
  • I have come on this site and several others out there for the same reason as all of you but had to stop and make a comment here.

    I hope you fired that stupid bleeping doctor and got another one; and you don't need a psyc doctor. You are not crazy. You have an injury just like the rest of us out here and looking for the answer that apparently the doctors don't have yet. Here it is Feb 09 and I am curious as to how you are doing. I hope you are better or at least found another doctor that will let you go see whoever you frigging want to.

    We are all in the same place here. What I don't understand is if there are so many people out here with similar issues of pain, why don't the doctors have any answers yet. I know they aren't God but at least they should keep trying until they have an answer.

    I have for eight months now been dealing with headaches ever since I had a whiplash. And I will keep going to new doctors until I find one that will rid me of these headaches. I refuse to deal with them anymore. I started going to my GP, he sent me to a Neurologist who I fired, then went to see another one. Now I am seeing a Pain Specialist who is also an Anesthesiologist. He is the best. My MRI's, X-Ray's all the same as most people on this site. But they can't give me a diagnosis except what comes with whiplash. OK so I am treating myself for whiplash. I went to a Chiropractor who made my headaches worse, I went to PT who made my headaches worse especially the traction. Sometimes I think we just have to take the bull by the horns and diagnose ourselves to a point and stand up for ourselves with these docs. By what I have read on this site and others I feel I have Occipital Neuralgia. I have all the symptoms. Every last one of them describe my pain to a T. So I have asked them to treat me for this. If the spinal injections or nerve blocks work; great. But it is my body and it can't hurt. So far the doctors don't know what to do except shove pills down my throat and make the pharac companies rich while I suffer. The pills don't work they give me a bigger headache. So I want to try the injections and hope this works for me.

    I would love to know how you were treated and if you are ok.

    Not really a headcase but I feel like one sometimes (or so my kids think).

  • I also get these shocks. Usually for me they happen when I'm lying down or still. They are intense, last from 1-10 seconds, happen in an area of about the size of a quarter. They happen everywhere imaginable on my body. Torso, legs, arms, face, head, etc... I suffer from c5-6 herniation and occipital neuralgia as well. I had ACDF, and I still get the shocks. Both my Physio & neuro docs can't explain them. Nice to know we have a connection here! I can't seem to get my neuro to treat my neuralgia problem, and I'm beginning to think it's the source of all of my problems! Good luck to all of you.
  • Sounds very familiar. Matter of fact, most of the posts here sound familiar eg: the shock like pains.
    I've been getting shock like pains for about 2 months now. Can be in my foot,mid thigh, shoulder,neck, back of the head, top of head, in essence anywhere. Like Ladybug, they only last about 20 seconds then gone, might come back a second time but usually upon rubbing the area or taking a tyelenol it stops. This is basically my problem but when mentioned to my doctor I'm told it's stress.. Therefore I've had no treatment nor tests. I also notice that ladybugs post was in 2008 so am wondering if a solution has been found? Has anyone here that's posted about shock like pain found the cause of a treatment?
  • haglandc said:
    Someone walking up behind you and hitting you with a cattle prod

    Someone walking up behind you and hitting you with a high power tazer

    Someone walking up behind you and dropping a high power line on you

    Sudden, without warning, no idea how long it will last, how frequent it will happen, when it will happen ...

    Oh yes, loads of fun that I can relate to!

    This is exactly what I've been feeling too!
    I had a RFL (nerve ablation) done in January for neck/right arm pain. It was the fourth time I had it done. Had no issues after the first three. The day I had this last done (in January 2015), I had extreme pain. Nurse at pain managment doctor's office told me to use ice and ibuprophen and would be fine. Pain never went away. It was a burning/stabbing pain. I saw my family doctor a week later and he examined me to find the skin in the area of the procedure was a red and inflamed. He took a picture. The following day I saw my pain managment doctor (PMD) and he saw the reddness too. I was put on antibotic and prednesone.

    The pain has since morphed into EXACTLY what "C" wrote about feeling like being hit by a tazer or cattle prod. I still have external burning sensation and it hurts to touch my skin. I also have internal pain. But the tazing/cattle prod comes and goes without warning. My whole body shakes and it is quite painful. Thank God it doesn't linger - just come and goes but it makes my knees buckle when it happens. I told my pain managment dr about it and he said "It just needs time to heal." WHAT DOES? He won't give me a straight answer!

    The PMD did acupunture with these long needles that he flicked with his fingers in the area of spasm. It hurt and DID NOT help. I had trigger point injections four days ago with no relief. I was taking muscle relaxers daily for two weeks and that did stop the tazing/ cattle prod episodes but I don't want to keep taking them. I think they were affecting my brain, meaning I was having trouble thinking clearly and functioning with my job. So I stopped taking them. I don't want to live on muscles relaxers just to live with pain.

    Does anyone know what causes this? I'm afraid to Google this for fear of what I might find. Did a quick Google search & saw something about MS and was freaking out! I have a herinated disc at C6 and have had continous muscle spasms for years. That's why I had the RFL done. I had tried Neurontin in the past for the continuous muscle spasm and right arm pain but I couldn't handle it. I'm highly sensitive to RX. Took SOMA for spasms and pain management doctor prescribed Zanaflex, which really screwed with my head and I stopped taking both trying to give my body a rest from them. However, I'm dealing with this cattle prod/ tazering and need to figure out what it is and how to stop it.

    Anyone know the answers? Thank you.
  • I've had two neck surgeries now, have two more ruptured discs, along with the bone spurs, arthritis, pinched nerves and lots of nerve damage.my last surgery was June 2014 and they put a 'cage' in my neck -c6c7 and I'm pretty sure something is wrong with it. Ever since last sept, I've been getting zapped in back of my neck. It hurts like heck! Thank God it doesn't last long but it happens every 15 min or so, for about four days then nothing for a Week or two. Used to be longer in between but happening more n more often now. It started again yesterday and got so bad today I called surgeon and nurse told me unless it happens and doesn't go away, they can't help me. It's not just that tho. When this first started happening, it didn't cause me any other pain, just the zap. Now tho? When it happens, It's causing so much pain in my neck that lingers for days and I'm useless. Til pain lightens up anyway. I'm sick of feeling/being useless!!!! Do told me last year that at this rate, I'm going to need cages in every disc. And last mri (2-2015) showed deteriation In back starting. I honestly can't remember exactly what he said, just that I'm screwed, basically. But......I want to know more about this zapping I'm experiencing. Doc office said if it doesn't stop, it's a pinched nerve.
  • I had electrical shocks up my head when I applied any pressure with my neck before my 4 level fusion. Since the fusion I do not have any symptoms anymore unless and had a coughing fit. Now my spinal was impinged before surgery and I was guessing that that's why I had what I exactly called and reported to my doctor electrical shock that went up to my brain. It also affected my arms and hands. Again since surgery no more or very mild. Very possible that on top of spinal cord compression that I had nerve pinching. Prior to surgery I was on 2400 of gabapentin and it relieved some discomfort. Hope this helps.
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