It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Neuropathy Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 01-21-2008, 04:22 AM   #1
Newbie
(male)
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Jamesport, MO U.S.
Posts: 6
Bryan5680 HB User
how does an emg test work

I have an EMG and NCV test scheduled for 1/24/08 and I am petrified. My calves are very weak and I have trouble walking and staying balanced. I'm considering cancelling the appointment. I have absolutely NO tolerance for pain. Any suggestions?

 
Old 01-21-2008, 06:41 AM   #2
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
rayefaye's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: princeton, nc usa
Posts: 897
rayefaye HB User
Re: how does an emg test work

Hi Bryan, I had to hear that you have a low pain tolerance because the EMG and NCV are not painless. They stick these little needles in the muscle and send a little electic charge to that part. This is to see if they pick up any nerve activity. If the nerve is dead then you won't feel a thing. If not then you will feel a little electric shock.
__________________
RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystropy)
Cervical Dsytonia- severe muscle spasms in the neck
Arthritis

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 01-21-2008, 06:52 AM   #3
Newbie
(male)
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Jamesport, MO U.S.
Posts: 6
Bryan5680 HB User
Re: how does an emg test work

OK - it the pain worth the trouble? I am somewhat ambulatory and can survive. Suggestions on any prep for the tests?

 
Old 01-21-2008, 08:29 AM   #4
Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 50
AlanVA HB User
Re: how does an emg test work

Bryan5680,

Well, I had this wonderful little test about two weeks back and have a follow up appt with the pm doc to go over the results (different doc did the test) in two days (although the first doc said he'd have the results written up by the afternoon- I've just been playing phone tag with the other doc since then).

I didn't really know anything about the test going into it other than thinking that it would be similar to TENS therapy which is just mild electrical stimulation usually after physical therapy which actually feels nice after a few seconds.

I did not like the test and was a bit sore for the remainder of the day afterwards. There were different levels of intensity during the test from some times so mild I hardly felt anything to a few that flat out hurt and had my leg jerking due to pure involuntary reflex.

There is an electrical jolt portion done on the outside of the skin and then a few needles inserted here and there in a seperate part of the test to measure different results with the doc telling you to lift a leg or push your toes in order to contract the muscles. I was laying on my side with my head on a pillow so other than seeing a few wires running here and there couldn't really see much but the doctor did his best to tell me what he was doing and when he was going to do it and what I might feel.

Yes, some of the jolts hurt but the good news is that it is only a very short duration and that by the time you really register the pain, then it is usually stopped and the doc is making measurements for the next location. You might equate it to pulling out hairs in that you get a sharp pain but it then subsides rather quickly (but there were a few times where I thought it went beyond the hair pulling level to be honest).

My tests were on both legs for the electrical portions and then needles only on my left leg and left side of my back due to having most of my pain in my left leg and side.

Overall it was about 20-25 minutes from start to finish and I don't know if the intensity I got was due to current condition of my legs/feet in order to get certain responses or this was the standard treatment that everyone goes through?

If they called me tomorrow and said someone spilled coffee on the results and I'd need to redo the test, I'd go do it but I wouldn't really look forward to it but I wouldn't dread it either and just accept that there will be some uncomfortable moments.

You should probably go ahead and have the test done and just try not to stress over it. Afterwards, I was sore for the day but that I think was due to just the needles into the muscles more than anything else. There wasn't any lasting pain from the electrical stuff if memory is right and like I said, after a second or two, then the discomfort/pain is done and that's it.

I don't know what the results will be from my test - which might be why I've been dragging my feet a bit on the results. I'm also a diabetic and nerve problems and diabetes seem to be good friends although from what I've read, I'm still on the young side (37) to have diabetes releated nerve problems with a new diagnosis of diabetes only being a year ago or so so.

So, in this case with a recent SI injection helping my back problems (was in extreme pain when standing but otherwise not so bad after an initial disc rupture 2.5 years ago that caused me pain for most of two years) but yet my feet are still hurting, I don't know if I have a nerve problem down in the feet and leg area or if something is still pressing from a disc problem somewhere higher that is causing issues in my feet.

But back to your statement for no pain tolerance - you'll be able to get through this and it may have some discomfort for you or it may not. I've read things on this board from other people who have had the test who make it seem like it was almost pain free for them so you may be in the group that has no problems or in my group where yes, there were some moments where it did hurt a fair bit (but only for a moment or two) and then you may be sore for the rest of the day.

Good luck,
Alan.

 
Old 01-21-2008, 08:56 AM   #5
Newbie
(male)
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Jamesport, MO U.S.
Posts: 6
Bryan5680 HB User
Re: how does an emg test work

Alan - thanks so much for your vote of confidence and encouragement. I will, in all probability, go for the tests; albeit, not willingly. As I mentioned earlier in my post, I have NO tolerance for pain, and am deathly afraid of electricity or any kind of electrical shock. All this combined with the fact that the tests will be at a VA hospital, my confidence wanes by the minute. I will let you know what my assessment is.

 
Old 01-21-2008, 01:38 PM   #6
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Buffalo, New York
Posts: 9
tzanzay HB User
Re: how does an emg test work

Hi there,

I'm new to this site but wanted to tell you that you aren't the only one who'll be getting that test on the 24th. I am also scheduled for one on the same day to figure out why I've been having sharp shooting pains occasionally in various parts of my body along with my toes feeling numb. To be honest, I am more afraid of the results than the test itself. Good luck to you and I hope you find some comfort knowing you're not alone. I'm sure you'll do great-you're probably alot tougher than you think!

Last edited by tzanzay; 01-21-2008 at 01:40 PM.

 
Old 01-21-2008, 01:46 PM   #7
Newbie
(male)
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Jamesport, MO U.S.
Posts: 6
Bryan5680 HB User
Re: how does an emg test work

No - I'm not tough! :-( I will cancel the appointment tomorrow.

 
Old 01-21-2008, 03:01 PM   #8
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Buffalo, New York
Posts: 9
tzanzay HB User
Re: how does an emg test work

Hi again,

Don't give up on yourself...if you don't have the test done you'll never get to the source of the problem right? I don't feel like I'm tough either but I sometimes really surprise myself and it feels great! What is it that is bothering you so much about the test? The pain? The unknown? The what-if's? And I hope you don't mind my asking but what are you having the test done for again? I'm going because I've been experiencing sharp shooting pains in my body for the last year along with my toes occasionally feeling numb. To be honest I'm scared to death too but I know that if I can just suck it up and get it over with I'll be so proud of myself for taking the step to fix this or at least figure out what is going on. Don't you want that as well?

 
Old 01-21-2008, 03:35 PM   #9
Newbie
(male)
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Jamesport, MO U.S.
Posts: 6
Bryan5680 HB User
Re: how does an emg test work

Quote:
Originally Posted by tzanzay View Post
Hi again,

Don't give up on yourself...if you don't have the test done you'll never get to the source of the problem right? I don't feel like I'm tough either but I sometimes really surprise myself and it feels great! What is it that is bothering you so much about the test? The pain? The unknown? The what-if's? And I hope you don't mind my asking but what are you having the test done for again? I'm going because I've been experiencing sharp shooting pains in my body for the last year along with my toes occasionally feeling numb. To be honest I'm scared to death too but I know that if I can just suck it up and get it over with I'll be so proud of myself for taking the step to fix this or at least figure out what is going on. Don't you want that as well?

 
Old 01-21-2008, 03:39 PM   #10
Newbie
(male)
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Jamesport, MO U.S.
Posts: 6
Bryan5680 HB User
Re: how does an emg test work

Not again, this is the first time for me. I've seen these tests done before with associates in the meat packing industry for carpal tunnel syndrome, and they are not fun. I just don't think I can go through with the needles and the shocks.

 
Old 01-21-2008, 05:39 PM   #11
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Buffalo, New York
Posts: 9
tzanzay HB User
Re: how does an emg test work

Maybe wait at least a day or two before you cancel to see if you change your mind (unless you have to give them 72 hrs notice or something) and feel that you can do it. I've had some anxiety issues in the past and I know for me that so many times I make things so much worse in my mind than they actually turn out to be. My test is actually the 23rd so I'll respond and let you know how I made out. Best of luck to you whatever you decide.

 
Old 01-22-2008, 04:37 PM   #12
Newbie
(male)
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Arlington, VA, USA
Posts: 2
wittyirish1 HB User
Re: how does an emg test work

To perform intramuscular EMG, a needle electrode is inserted through the skin into the muscle tissue. A trained medical professional (most often a physiatrist, neurologist, or physical therapist) observes the electrical activity while inserting the electrode. The insertional activity provides valuable information about the state of the muscle and its innervating nerve. Normal muscles at rest make certain, normal electrical sounds when the needle is inserted into them. Then the electrical activity when the muscle is at rest is studied. Abnormal spontaneous activity might indicate some nerve and/or muscle damage. Then the patient is asked to contract the muscle smoothly. The shape, size and frequency of the resulting motor unit potentials is judged. Then the electrode is retracted a few millimeters, and again the activity is analyzed until at least 10-20 units have been collected. Each electrode track gives only a very local picture of the activity of the whole muscle. Because skeletal muscles differ in the inner structure, the electrode has to be placed at various locations to obtain an accurate study.

an NCV might also be helpful. this measures actual nerve activity, not so much the muscle. It can measure the [I]speed[I] at which the signals travel through the nerve fibers and also if there is any loss of intensity when it gets to the other end. This can help determine what type of damage there may be, to the nerve fiber or nerve endings themselves, and/or to the myelin sheath that surrounds the nerve fibers.

 
Old 01-22-2008, 09:51 PM   #13
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2
curlylew66 HB User
Re: how does an emg test work

I had a second EMG done 01/22/2008. Get it done.
It is an hour out of your day. You need to have these tests done so they can deteremine what is wrong with you.
I wouldn't cancel the appointment.

Last edited by curlylew66; 01-22-2008 at 09:53 PM.

 
Old 01-23-2008, 11:21 AM   #14
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Buffalo, New York
Posts: 9
tzanzay HB User
Re: how does an emg test work

I just had my EMG test today and it was not too bad at all. They were very helpful at the office with questions I had and to be honest I hardly felt any pain. Any pain that I did feel only lasted for a quick second. If anyone is reading this and is fearful-don't be. You'll do just fine with it.

 
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
Does HRT or progesterone work for hormonal epilepsy kay Fiona Epilepsy 30 09-27-2009 02:31 PM
when you have a psa level of 600 what does that mean maarie Cancer: Prostate 3 04-27-2009 03:59 PM
Does my apartment have any symptoms of mold? bignosycat Environmental Disorders 11 02-13-2009 08:59 AM
Does anyone else have a mysterious rash with a flare? lynn41 Fibromyalgia 30 06-24-2008 10:26 AM
Does anyone have any up to date info about their experience at boston medical group? Lunatikk Sexual Health - Men 3 04-02-2008 08:56 PM




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Join Our Newsletter

Stay healthy through tips curated by our health experts.

Whoops,

There was a problem adding your email Try again

Thank You

Your email has been added








TOP THANKED CONTRIBUTORS



tingles (48), Aussie100 (34), RisingParrot (34), daisymaegrl (33), Ruby8 (27), captinsane1 (25), June89 (22), awlright (10), LasVegasgirl (10), jverive (9)

Site Wide Totals

teteri66 (1164), MSJayhawk (997), Apollo123 (896), Titchou (832), janewhite1 (823), Gabriel (757), ladybud (745), sammy64 (666), midwest1 (665), BlueSkies14 (610)



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:16 PM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!