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What to expect with EMG of neck?

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Old 07-31-2006, 07:30 PM   #1
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Question What to expect with EMG of neck?

Can anyone tell me what to expect with an EMG of my neck? Thanks.

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Old 08-02-2006, 06:16 PM   #2
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Re: What to expect with EMG of neck?

I think you mean they told you that you are having an EMG to test for a problem in your c-spine ? If not the tests are the same, but the spots they test change. EMGs usually have 2 parts, the EMG (Electromyography) or the NCV (Nerve Conduction Velocity)

THe EMG part is done by inserting tiny needle electrodes through the skin into the muscle tissue at various points they are testing (for example when they test for a pinched nerve in the neck that is causing arm symptoms the needles go in your arm and probably wrist). The doctor observes the electrical activity while inserting the electrode. THey are checking the state of the muscle and its innervating nerve.

Nerve conduction testing is also often done at the same time as an EMG. Electrodes are attached to your skin. They give you repeated, brief electrical shocks to the nerve which this little device and check the time it takes for the muscle to contract in response to the electrical pulse is recorded.

These tests can be somewhat uncomfortable, there are worse things, but they are worth it because they can provide valuable info. Usually over in around 30-60mins, maybe a little longer if they test more than one side. I didn't feel any after affects other than I did have some muscle twitching for about a week later and a couple tiny bruises.

Old 08-04-2006, 07:32 PM   #3
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Re: What to expect with EMG of neck?

I have to say I was highly disappointed in the EMG. I had a ACDF C4-5 in February. I have had ongoing arm and hand pain as well as neck and shoulder pain. It is better then it was that is for sure, however it is still there. I have been told it may take 1 to 1.5 yrs to heal since I had a bad spinal cord compression for a year and a half. I had hoped that the EMG would give us some answers and it didn't. The EMG doctor told me that that was a good thing that the EMG only shoes 30% of damage and that it only shows if there is permanent damage. He told me it would take a long time to heal but that I should heal fine. I am now being sent to a pain management doctor to see if that and continued PT will get me back to work soon. Just don't expect to much from the EMG.

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