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Side Effect Strange Chill or Ripple Feeling side of Head and Back of Thigh

Posts: 165
Joined: Feb 2013

I am 4 months from last chemo and radiation.  Neck cancer unknown primary, full treatment.  I have a strange chill like effect that is mostly in the morning at the right side of my head and face.  At times it also is in the back of my thighs.  It is not pain, but more a ripple or as when you have a chill that radiates, but not exactly a chill.  Has anyone ever had these side effects?  I know they sound strange and may have nothing to do with the treatment.  Thanks for any help.

Posts: 69
Joined: Jul 2012

Here is the definition:

Lhermitte's sign, sometimes called the Barber Chair phenomenon, is an electrical sensation that runs down the back and into the limbs. In many patients, it is elicited by bending the head forward.[1] It can also be evoked when a practitioner pounds on the posterior cervical spine while the neck is flexed; this is caused by involvement of the posterior columns.

A lot of folks after radiation get this.  I think it is temporary.

Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8124
Joined: Sep 2009

Like mentioned, if that's the sensation you speak of..., sort of a tingle, electrical shock sensation when you bend your head forward touching your chin to your chest..., that's it.

Also, it is temporary, usually lasting anywhere from a few months to nearly a year post rads..., another gift from radiation, the gift that keeps giving, LOL...

Right up there with Turkey Neck...


D Lewis's picture
D Lewis
Posts: 1557
Joined: Jan 2010

It's not just the gift that keeps on giving... look at it as free entertainment. You never quite know when it's going to zap you next.


Billie67's picture
Posts: 834
Joined: Jul 2012

You've been given yet another lovely gift from radiation! I started getting it right at about 3 months out from treatment and now I'm almost 10 months and it's still hanging around. It's mostly triggered when people look down. For me, I get the zap every single time I look down and it even happens when I'm in bed! I get the tingle~zap down the back of my legs and in my right big toe. The weird this is, when I'm in the shower I get the zap down my spine too but only when I'm in the shower....so strange.
The doctors tell me that it's temporary and that it lasts for a few months usually. For me it's been 7 months but I'm trying to stay positive that it will soon go away.
Anyway, there you have it :-)
Take good care,

Tim6003's picture
Posts: 1501
Joined: Nov 2011

My legs and between my shoulders would get that ...and right about 3-6 mounths hout of treatment ...sometimes I would get a weakness feeling in my legs as well when I walked...almost like my brain telling my legs to walk would not connect and I would "struggle" (for lack of a better word) to get my legs to cooperate.

All that is now gone ...



Posts: 165
Joined: Feb 2013

I tried the head movemment when walking and sitting and darn if it didn't trigger the feeling in my thighs.  You guys really nailed that one which makes me feel better that I have some name I can put to that part and that it will likely go away.

The sensation on the right side of my face and top of head, espeically in the morning, may be more related to my ongoing battle with sinus problems and some related to depression, some mornings I just don't want to get out of bed and face anything.  Too many mornings like that lately, hopefully that will pass also. 

Given all we go though depression is normal from what I understand and that it does pass.

NJShore's picture
Posts: 411
Joined: Nov 2012


You are in good company, Dan was exactly 3 months out on Monday and last week he started to complain that when he least expected it. He really thought it was mean when he was driving. I told him to watch his head movements or ask me to drive if it happened a lot.. so far so good.. he's happy knowing what it is too.. thanks for asking the question!

Hope your's is simple and fast to dissipate.


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