Lhermitte's test, also known as the Barber Chair Phenomenon, assesses for an electrical sensation that runs down the back when the neck is flexed. Suggestive of multiple sclerosis, cervical nerve impingement, B12 deficiency, myofascial pain.

Performing the Test

  1. Patient standing and actively flexes neck forward
  2. Positive: sharp shooting pain in neck, radiating down back


  1. Baxter S, ed., McScheffrey G, ed. Toronto Notes: Comprehensive Medical Reference & Review for MCCQE 1 & USMLE 2. 26th ed. Toronto: Toronto Notes for Medical Students Inc; 2010.
  2. Hurley K. OSCE and Clinical Skills Handbook. Halifax: Elsevier Canada; 2005.