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Question about nerve study for lower back & legs.

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Old 04-14-2011, 09:21 AM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2010
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candy0821 HB User
Question Question about nerve study for lower back & legs.

Sorry this is so long! My name is Candace and I am 25 years old. I have herniated discs at L3-L4, L4-L5, L5-S1, DDD and arthritis. My worst herniated disc which is the L4-L5 was shaved twice and it seemed to have made everything worse. Now after all of these years of xrays, mri's, shots, epidurals, meds, tens units, ice packs, heat pads, rest, & physical therapy I was put in pain management about 8 or so months ago & of course like everyone else went through different meds until I found something that worked for me (embeda for pain along with zipsor, neurotin, & baclofen). Well, they recalled embeda and put me on kadian which I absolutely HATE and of course the doctor just wanted to up the dosage. Anyways, now they want to do a nerve study on me b/c I have always had bad pain/numbness in my left leg and last week i pinched another nerve on the right side of my back and my right leg is hurting too. Long story short (haha) I was wondering exactly what they do? Do they hook electrodes to your feet? No needles? What exactly are they looking for your legs to do and how can they tell about the nerves? I just don't quite understand how the test works and I couldn't really find anything that explains it. Are you supposed to feel the shocks if your nerves are good and not feel them if they are bad? What usually happens next as far as treatment if they find something bad? I am already on neurotin and I have tried lyrica before. I just wondered if anyone had a more in depth explanation for what I would be looking forward to. Thanks in advance for any input!

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Old 04-14-2011, 10:26 AM   #2
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Re: Question about nerve study for lower back & legs.

Greetings! Does your doctor want to do an EMG? If so, the process is simple. The doctor inserts a needle into a specific spot on your leg and the gives you a little jolt of electricity. He removes that needle and moves on down your leg, putting more needles in and adjusting them the see if he get nerve response. Goes allll the way down your leg. It's not extremely painful, but it certainly isn't someting that I want to have on a regular basis.

When he has finished with all his little pokes, it will tell him if you have nerve damage in your legs. The paper that they gave me after I had it done said that you might experience some residual aches and brusing from it. I looked like a darn pin cushiom amd it more than just ached. but it does give the doctor a good idea of how your nerves are reacting. It isn't a test that is used to detail a specific type of therapy. It IS used to see if you have any damage to your nerves and how severe it is. It is a valuable tool for your doctor. My surgeon told me that if he found damage in my legs, HE would be scheduling the surgery for me...

Old 04-14-2011, 11:20 AM   #3
Join Date: Mar 2010
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candy0821 HB User
Re: Question about nerve study for lower back & legs.

My pain management doctor said a "nerve study" and I asked if they were going to proke and prod me and he said it was just some shocks so that is why I was kind of confused about whether there would be needles or not. I didn't know EMG was the name for it. I am supposed to have it done in his office tomorrow. The whole thing came about because I told them I felt like I pinched a nerve on the right side of my back and going down my right leg and needed some relief. I have always had the left leg pain from my previous injuries. I guess the EMG is the same thing he was talking about.

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