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What causes electric sensation radiating through spine and entire body?

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Posted on Mon, 22 Sep 2014
Question: Hello. I've been experiencing an "electricity" type sensation throughout my body which seems to begin in my spine and radiate through my entire body to my palms and soles of my feet. I also have been having constant back spasms in upper thoracic region. I knew I had scoliosis so dr sent for an xray and then for an MRI. I've been doing yoga for 13 years, teaching part time for 11 & teaching yoga full time for almost a year years and began teaching zumba a month ago. MRI results showed significant (to me) results in all 3 areas of the spine. cervical: large midline extruded disc fragment c6-7 that indents the anterior surface of the thecal sac& annual bulge at c4-5. thoracic: extruded disc fragments at t5-6, t6-7, t8-9 and largest at t9-10. slightly flattened thoracic cord contoured to the left. thoracic scoliosis to the right 10-15 degrees. lumbar: disc bulge and disc desiccation at l3-4.
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Answered by Dr. Richard Jackson (6 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Prognosis depends on expectations

Detailed Answer:
Hi
Thanks for your query.

The symptoms of a disc herniation are only midline pain and soreness in the back which is bothersome but is very common among people 50 years old and up in the cervical and lumbar regions. It's not common to have thoracic herniations unless you had twin pregnancy or a car accident or something else traumatic although if your scoliosis is severe enough it is possible that is the cause. It's also not common to have so many disc extrusions. Most of the time it's just a herniation, meaning a bulging.

An extrusion indicates there is a piece of disc fiscally protruding possibly floating in isolation causing pain. The electric sensations come into play when there is compression of the nerve root at the spinal level where it exits. You can check this on the report to see if you see the phrase "narrowing the foramen" or "contacting the nerve root". This causing electrical sensations and deep aching pain the extremity which can also be felt in the rest if the body if severe enough. The prognosis depends on which aspect you are discussing. The disc extrusions are a surgical disease and will not get better on there own. Whether or not you need surgery depends on what symptoms you have and how it is affecting your life and which areas because surgery cannot fix all if those levels of discs.

Second, the nerve impingement syndrome is an inflammatory one which generally lasts 2-3 months and then resides and may come back later.

The treatment is symptomatic just to help you get through the phase and does nothing to change the course of the disease. The back spasms are caused by the nerve root irritation and are difficult to control but there are medicines and non invasive techniques like massage which work well.

While some of your findings are atypical. They are part of the normal spectrum of aging and are not dangerous or an emergency unless you develop weakness or bowel/bladder trouble which I would not expect from the findings you gave.

hope this helps
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
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Follow up: Dr. Richard Jackson (15 hours later)
Thank you for your response.

I don't have the other indicators of stenosis or nerve root compression on the report but the electric sensations come and go. Sometimes it's related to pphysical activity (yoga); other times it appears for no apparent reason.

As far as my expectations, because I own a business where I teach 10 classes per week, in addition to my own yoga practice, what is a realistic outlook? I don't physically participate in all the yoga classes I teach other than for demonstration, but the 3 zumba classes I teach are full participation.

Does the zumba exacerbate my conditon?

Thank you. XXXXXXX
doctor
Answered by Dr. Richard Jackson (8 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Sounds like it's something's else

Detailed Answer:
I took a look at the report and you were correct there aren't any signs of nerve root compression. it's hard to tell what could be causing it but if I had to guess since it's your whole body I would guess that the large cervical disc extrusion occasionally presses on the spinal cord with certain movements causing what's called ephaptic transmission. without seeing tr picture it's hard to tell but the pain/temperature spinal cord fibers run on the front side of the spinal cord near the discs so contact could trigger nerve transmission. it's rare br documented in the literature. there's nothing dangerous about it because there seems to be plenty of room in the spinal canal but it won't get better on its own. whether or not you want to do anything about it depends on how much it interfered with your life. there's nothing dangerous about it unless it pushes on your spinal cord.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vinay Bhardwaj
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Dr. Richard Jackson

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Practicing since :2010

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What causes electric sensation radiating through spine and entire body?

Brief Answer: Prognosis depends on expectations Detailed Answer: Hi Thanks for your query. The symptoms of a disc herniation are only midline pain and soreness in the back which is bothersome but is very common among people 50 years old and up in the cervical and lumbar regions. It's not common to have thoracic herniations unless you had twin pregnancy or a car accident or something else traumatic although if your scoliosis is severe enough it is possible that is the cause. It's also not common to have so many disc extrusions. Most of the time it's just a herniation, meaning a bulging. An extrusion indicates there is a piece of disc fiscally protruding possibly floating in isolation causing pain. The electric sensations come into play when there is compression of the nerve root at the spinal level where it exits. You can check this on the report to see if you see the phrase "narrowing the foramen" or "contacting the nerve root". This causing electrical sensations and deep aching pain the extremity which can also be felt in the rest if the body if severe enough. The prognosis depends on which aspect you are discussing. The disc extrusions are a surgical disease and will not get better on there own. Whether or not you need surgery depends on what symptoms you have and how it is affecting your life and which areas because surgery cannot fix all if those levels of discs. Second, the nerve impingement syndrome is an inflammatory one which generally lasts 2-3 months and then resides and may come back later. The treatment is symptomatic just to help you get through the phase and does nothing to change the course of the disease. The back spasms are caused by the nerve root irritation and are difficult to control but there are medicines and non invasive techniques like massage which work well. While some of your findings are atypical. They are part of the normal spectrum of aging and are not dangerous or an emergency unless you develop weakness or bowel/bladder trouble which I would not expect from the findings you gave. hope this helps