Neuropathy Community Group

WELCOME to the Neuropathy group... For all those who have all types of Nerve Damage and PAIN! A GREAT PAIN resource area! Over 100 photos and 25 research topics on specific pain issues.

0 Online
0 Online

EMG/NVC TESTS

Has anyone had these tests? I just had them done yesterday and they were a little bit painful. I don't think the tests are going to help tell my doctor about my nerve damage but doctors are crazy so I go with the flow to a certain extent. They said my tests were normal. Does anyone know why the doctor would order this kind of test rather than a test that looks at the nerves themselves?

Replies

deleted_user
deleted_user

hi there,

i've had one too and it was really uncomfortable! i also had it done in my face.

i think the nerves are too small to see, so they use this test as a way to measure how well your nerves are working.

i have heard this test does not rule out small fiber neuropathy (the kind that causes us pain) because it can't read the small fiber nerves. One way to check for that kind of neuropathy is to do a skin punch biopsy. They take a little bit of your skin and analyze the nerves underneath.

ps. the neuro who did my test told me you can't have another emg done on whichever side they tested for 3 months. remember that if you have another one done, switch sides!
deleted_user
deleted_user

i had two done, you are so right it is painful. but after 2 years of not knowing what i had , it did give the dr. some info, i have a mito disoder. and it showed up when they dragged the needle acrossed my muscles. i was told the same aboout if you have a nother one done do it on the other side. and also if they deside to run a muscle biopsy tell them what side you had this done on they have to biop. the other side.
deleted_user
deleted_user

I just had both of these tests done on Wednesday. I guess I was very lucky as neither one was painful for me. Just felt like I was being pinched. The tests did show that I had extreme small fiber nerve & muscle damage. But I think I already knew that, why else would I have all the tingly, burning, numbness and pain. Anyway after all the tests, the doctor was very honest and actually told me that there wasn't anything they could do for me, except for medication to try to releave some of the burning, tingly and numbness. Also pain medications. The doctor did not say anything about a skin biopsy. Guess she didn't think it would make any differance in how to treat the Neuropathy. Even with all the tests, they still treat Neuropathy the same. I'm now working my way down on the Gabapentine and up on Lyrica. So far no difference. HAS ANYONE HAD ANY LUCK WITH LYRICA??? Also would like to know of any side effects of Lyrica.
deleted_user
deleted_user

I guess you can't really tell from just 'looking' at the nerves if they're damaged or not ~ at least not all the time.

These tests are not very reliable. Even tho' yours came back 'normal' doesn't mean for sure that it IS. Mine has always come back normal too, but I've had permanent nerve damage for 21 years! How can we tell? No reflexes on that leg at all, numbness.

With all the other things they can do medically, you'd think they could come up with a better way of testing for nerve damage. lol. Maybe someday.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Hi susan I have had three of these tests done all thru the spine and the neck to my legs and the last one on the end of September that did confirm abnormal readings. These tests are to read the nerve irritation level when basically charged with the small shock. The response level of the nerve when it is hit with the jolt is measured in waves. Alot of these tests are not accurate because the nerve or nerves will react differently when hit with a larger jolt. I had a thorough Dr. do mine and she did take her time and seen the abnormality with mine.
I do hope this helped you a little but the medical world is all based on numbers and levels of tests performed in studies. However do not let the results bother you if it comes out normal still tell him your pain levels everytime you see him and maybe there is something else he can do.

Take Care
CR
deleted_user
deleted_user

I've had two of these done in the past couple of months and they did not show anything. I have tested positive on the blood test for myasthenia gravis and she keeps giving me those darn shocks. The first one was horrible and sent me into a lupus flare for a week. I got 57 needles and over 100 shocks down the whole right side of the body. Since it showed nothing, she did the right side again and my face. I'm done, I've had it. I wish I had known that she should not have done the right side again as it is my left arm that gives me most of the problems and she did not do that side because she would have had to move the machine, poor doc. This neuro took no time what so ever. She had the test done rather quickly and when I got up from the table there was blood every where. I felt as if I was transported in time to some torture chamber. Never again.
deleted_user
deleted_user

I don't have much faith with these test, i had a EMG done and it was positive for nerve damage, acute and chronic, i had the test done again and it came up negative, the doctor said if you have just had epidural shots or on some muscle relaxers that can screw up the test.

the problem is i think if someone has this test and it comes up negative there may be still some problems and the doctor will write it off as your fine when you are not
deleted_user
deleted_user

I've had 2 EMG's. The first one was extremely painful. I actually cried out and almost fell off the table. It showed chronic nerve damage in my legs, I'm not sure how severe. The second one wasn't nearly as painful, mostly just uncomfortable and it was determined normal.

I never knew that these tests were not completely accurate. What CarlReedy said about the nerves acting differently with larger jolts makes me wonder which of my tests was more accurate. I assume that the first Dr. used larger jolts because it was so much more painful. I'm really not sure how that works though.

Muscle relaxers can screw up the tests too? I wonder why my Dr.'s didn't tell me that? Probably because they were hired by workers comp. Oh, well. One thing is for sure, I will never get another one done again. :P
deleted_user
deleted_user

Has anyone had problems with balance after these tests were done? I had some minor balance issues before the tests, but seems like ever since I had the tests done my balance has really been affected, (badly). Its been almost 2 weeks since I had these tests done. I felt lucky because the tests were not painful for me. I don't have much feeling except for the pens and needles, tingly and numbness. Except for those lighting bolts that shoot through my body at various times. (Those are extremely painful).
Anyway ever since I had the test done I have had to use a walker to get around. I can't keep my balance without it. Just wondering if anyone else experienced this. If so, Did it last long? Was it temporary or does it just stay this way now? I will call the doctor and ask if this is normal, but I value this groups feedback. So I would love to hear from anyone who had similar problems. Thanks!
deleted_user
deleted_user

I had problems with the electrical aftershocks and they did feel like bolts of lightning. I also had the right side painfully cramp up. I don't know about the balance issues as I had them before. I'm sorry that you are having such a hard time. I was told by a chiropractor that these tests will confuse the cells and he told me not to get another one. I hope someone with more information gets on here and gives you advice. Sending positive thoughts your way.
deleted_user
deleted_user

NCTs tell the speed at which signals are being transmitted through your nerves. It also gives them an idea of the strength of the signal. It's good to have numbness for these tests cause then they don't hurt!

EMGs tell about muscles.

I have had many of both and everybody tends to do them a bit differently and the info is recorded differently so it is hard to compare. The last tests I had done they warmed my left side of my body up before and during the tests. They didn't do the right side and of course it's the right side I'm having more pain with. I have another set scheduled in two weeks. I will be interested to see how this doctor deals with it. The results of these tests have all been a bit different. Mild polyneuropathy, moderate polyneuropathy, autonomic neuropathy, no neuropathy! Who knows? I do have small fiber neuropathy and you're right, it's painful! Unfortunately I can't take any pain meds for it. I wrote an article about prescription drugs and side effects. If you'd like a copy just email me. Just a hint about lyrica - be careful, I put on 20+ lbs and ended up with laryngeal edema as an allergic reaction to it.
deleted_user
deleted_user

I think these tests are unreliable and the results are interpeted differently by any given doctor.

I have FM and diabetes and have had these tests 3 times by 3 different doctors because of my severe neuropathy pain. I found the tests to be painful depending on which doc gave them.

Each doc had something completely different to say about the tests. The first tests were given after I had a lumber epidural. They told me I had nerve damage in my legs due to diabetes.

I had the tests again a year later by a neurologist and he determined that I had tarsal tunnel symdrome and as a result I had surgery which I dearly regret. It did not help the neuropathy pain. In fact it is worse than ever.

Then I had the tests again in January by a "FM Specialist". He determined that I never had tarsal tunnel, but that I might have mild carpal tunnel and ordered me to wear the wrist braces.

Now the nueropathy pain is so bad that I can not write a letter and can barely hold a fork. I still have severe pain in my legs, ankle and feet as well.

Neurontin has helped some. I rarely feel like someone is stabbing with a knife anymore. But the pain is still unbearable most days.

Now I have another doc that wants to do the tests again because my arms and legs keep going numb. I don't want anymore pain.
deleted_user
deleted_user

I have had the test twice myself. To me it wasn't that bad.Don't get me wrong, i did feel it. I thing the reason i was able to put up with it is because from the time i was 17, i am 69 now, i have always worked in both electrical and electronic for all those years. I did get use to being hit with what we call "juice" every so often. You never get use to it, but you can learn to live with it. I have see that each person is different when it comes to a electrical shock and the amount of pain one can with stand. I for got to tell you , i go in for my third one this coming week. Lucky me, HUGS to all.
deleted_user
deleted_user

I had an EMG last week as well, it was Normal. So Doc said that the pain, tingling and numbness came on quickly maybe it will go away that way as well... And more nurontin for me. It's quite hard to sleep with your feet uncovered and not touching the bed! Colorado is to cold for that! I guess I'll either get use to cold feet the pain or not sleeping eventually