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"I felt an electric shock that started in my chest and shot up to the top of my head. What could it be?"

ZocdocAnswersI felt an electric shock that started in my chest and shot up to the top of my head. What could it be?


33year old female PA


This is an interesting question and I recommend that you discuss it with your doctor. There are many possible explanations. Many sensations of a shock are known as neurogenic, meaning that the sensation comes from nerves. Obviously, there are nerves in all parts of your body, but some of them are more traditionally associated with a shooting pain. The fact that you describe more of a shock sensation than pain suggests that there may be something more than normal nerve pain, sometimes referred to as radicular pain, and may be something that has to do with some of the central nervous system pathways. These can be poorly understood, but there are likely some other clues in your experience that could help your doctor to make sure that you are well. Please discuss this with your doctor so that he or she can ask further questions and complete a physical exam (and perhaps order further testing if any is needed) to understand what you are describing and so that you can get better.

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