EMG & Nerve Conduction Tests?

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Meg13
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 3/27/2013 12:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone!

I'm currently undiagnosed.. My doctors have said a wide range of things from autoimmune, pinched nerves, lyme disease, fibro, etc. So I'm just going through lots of different testing. I've had a lot of blood work, haven't gotten the results on everything yet.

My question is, to any of you that had an EMG & nerve conduction studies, what were your results? Mine came back perfect, showing no damage or any issues. That has me confused.. for fibro, would the test have normal or abnormal results?

Thanks!

AustenFan
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 1561
   Posted 3/27/2013 1:51 PM (GMT -6)   
I have had EMG tests done on my legs in the past. I have a lot of leg pain. I have fibro, spinal stenosis, sacroiliitis, a present herniated disc, two previous surgeries for herniated discs, and arthritis in my spine. Even with all of that, my EMG was normal. Cause of the leg pain? Who knows, lol. My doc chalks it up to any combination of the above.

But to answer your question, I don't believe fibro shows up in an EMG. You could have fibro and your EMG would still be normal.

IAmFreedom!
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 3/27/2013 2:10 PM (GMT -6)   
The EMG (electromyography) Study tests for abnormalities in the muscle or the nerve going to the muscle. The Nerve Conduction Study tests how signals travel along the nerve, helping to isolate the cause of abnormal nerve function. The signals are made to travel along the nerve by applying small electric pulses to the nerve at one site and recording the response at a different place along the nerve. The small electric pulses cause a mild tingling feeling. The nerve response is picked up by a recording instrument and is then measured by your doctor.

I have not had an EMG test done. They stick little needles into the muscle to measure the electrical activity of that muscle. No thank you. The Nerve Conduction Study was painful enough. They say small electric pulses...when the doc hit me with that pulse it felt like what I assume a seziure would feel like. Luckily it only lasted a split second (although I felt the after effects long afterwards too).

When my test was over the doctor told me I had Fibro. I asked him how he could tell. He said to me that the read out on the machine, like a little ticker tape, shows too long of a gap between the beginning of the shock and the movement of my arm. Hence; abnormality...damage...nerve damage. I don't know what it's caused from or how bad the damage is... I don't know if that is the way it shows up on everyones but it did on mine.

Frankey
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 299
   Posted 3/27/2013 3:08 PM (GMT -6)   

I had an EMG before anyone suspected Fibro.  My first symptom was numbness and tingling in my left arm. I was in my early 20's and once they ruled out a stroke the assumption was a pinched nerve.  I went to physical therapy but did not get better and they insisted on xrays and MRIs before continuing treatment.  The xrays and MRIs showed there was nothing wrong with my spine/collar and no pinched nerves.  I then had the EMG.

The EMG was pretty normal.  They saw muscle spasming in my neck but nothing beyond that.  A few hours after the EMG the symptoms did begin to spread into my leg as well.  The next step was a brain MRI which was normal as well.  It was a few months later that the Fibro diagnosis came about once the pain was very noticable and present.  I got all the other symptoms and associated conditions of Fibro before the pain came.

I also went through all the blood tests, for months and months.  Every few weeks my Dr would think of more to test.  I even went so far to have genetic testing done to rule out a few diseases.  One of the biggest problems with Fibro is that all the tests will come back normal.  Have they done the pressure test on the tender points?  I think that is thed most telling test.  No one flies off the table when they are touched in certain points unless they have Fibro.


Meg13
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 3/27/2013 3:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the responses everyone! I hated the nerve tests.. ugh. Felt like my arms were being shocked off.

Frankey, your story sounds similar to me. I'm in my early 20's and having the symptoms in my arms. Xrays of everything.. haven't seen anything. Two rounds of physical therapy, one month each, 3 times a week. Held off on the MRI for now, but I'm assuming that's next. Lots & lots of blood work. My poor arm is still black & blue! They haven't done the pressure test yet, but I have an appointment with my doctor coming up.

Luvzminis
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1638
   Posted 3/27/2013 3:49 PM (GMT -6)   
I had the testing done a few years ago, and my results were also normal.

The neurologist later told me that he suspected at first that I either had ALS or MS, so I was very thankful the tests turned out okay. I'm glad yours did, also!

I still have a nonspecific secondary neuro condition--I'm told it's more of a 'wait and see if anything happens' thing. It has been almost nine years, and so far, so good.
"Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love."
Mother Teresa

crazykitty
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Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 4794
   Posted 3/27/2013 5:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Fibro does cause pain and fatigue but DOES NOT cause damage to the joints, muscles or any tissue.

Muscle wasting atrophy will happen if you don't use your muscles, that is why it is so important to exercise on a regular basis. Atrophy can happen if you have an autoimmune connective tissue disease...the body attacks itself.

I've had EMG's before because of myositis (muscle inflammation) causing weakness in my arms. I didn't find the procedure to be unbearable.

Fibro is not an inflammatory condition, it just feels that way.

Hugs, Robin
Fibromyalgia, Adenocarcinoma survivor, Lung Lobectomy, Heart Disease, Pulmonary Hypertension,
MCTD (Lupus, Scleroderma and RA)
Raynaud's, Degenerative Disc Disease, Osteoarthritis,
Osteoporosis, Hypertension and Migraines
"Where there is a will, there is a way"

Chartreux
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 7670
   Posted 3/27/2013 9:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Crazykitty, my emg testing was kinda like yours I did'nt feel it much and that I think can indicate nerve damage as it did for me however, they don't know why yet that my nerves are dying in my lower legs and then said a nerve biopsy could be done but I don't want to be paralysed so I said no, and as of yet no good conclusion as to whats going on with my nerves, I've had testing done by both neurologists and at my pain management clinic.
If you get one done make sure its done by a good neurologists, but for me this was the least painful testing and it had the most disturbing results everyone showed some kind of nerve damage. 3 different doctors (2 neuros) and still no clear answers, but as for showing fibro I doubt it. Not worth doing this emg testing for fibro...
**********************************************
* So many dx's I could write a book* "It would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...
********>^..^<********>^..^<*******

crazykitty
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 4794
   Posted 3/28/2013 8:51 AM (GMT -6)   
In diagnosing fibro, bloodwork is usually done first to rule out any of the autoimmune connective diseases

If a neurological problem is suspected, MRI's are done to rule out MS. MRI's and CT scans are also used to detect spinal issues that cause nerve impingement.

It is not unusual to have an overlap of conditions, so it is important that doctors are thorough....so many symptoms can be related to a number of conditions. It is important for the doctor to take time to rule things out.

A diagnosis can take years because symptoms can wax and wane. New symptoms should be reported to doctors.

As a patient, it is our responsibility to partner with our doctors and give information, even take pictures if you notice swelling
or strange rashes.
 
Having an EMG should not be a routine procedure. It should be used if a muscle or a neurological problem is suspected or perhaps rule a condition out.

Hugs, Robin
Fibromyalgia, Adenocarcinoma survivor, Lung Lobectomy, Heart Disease, Pulmonary Hypertension,
MCTD (Lupus, Scleroderma and RA)
Raynaud's, Degenerative Disc Disease, Osteoarthritis,
Osteoporosis, Hypertension and Migraines
"Where there is a will, there is a way"

Post Edited (crazykitty) : 3/28/2013 8:54:37 AM (GMT-6)


MinnyMouse
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 193
   Posted 3/29/2013 5:51 PM (GMT -6)   
I have had the nerve conduction study done twice and both were considered normal. You will find with fibro that all your tests will be normal. At least mine were. I did not begin getting diagnosis until they started testing for specific diseases or conditions. Fibro to my knowledge has nothing except the pressure points that can be tested.
Since then I have been diagnosed with a handful of other ailments.
Good luck
Savella, Lyrica, Mobic, Tramadol, Flexeril, Evoxac, Plaqunil, and something I can't pronounce for high bloodpressure

Fibromyalgia, Myofacial Pain, Sjogrens, Depression, Degenerative Disc Disease, Degenerative Joint Disease, Arthritis, Chronic Fatigue, Migraines, IBS, Anxiety, Complex Sleep Apnea and pernicious anemia
.

Angelic_Victory
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 1644
   Posted 3/29/2013 6:21 PM (GMT -6)   
I've had nerve testing done. Mine wasn't normal but it was due to my elbow being shaped irregularly. The shape it is tends to trap and pinch nerves causing tingling and numbness in both hands. At this point we know the why but my neurologist hasn't really advised what our next step will be. I figure that will be a subject at our next visit.
Nail patella syndrome, osteoarthritis, complex migraines, eosinophilic esophagitis, major depressive disorder, OCD, and fibromyalgia, IBS

Meds: flovent 220 mcg, flexeril 10 mg, zonisanide 100 mg, omeprazole 40 mg, Cymbalta 60 mg,dicyclomine 20 mg, elavil, 10 mg, Xanax prn, hydrocodone prn.

IAmFreedom!
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 9/4/2013 6:20 PM (GMT -6)   
I know this topic is from a while back but I was re-reading it today and was wondering.....actually wondering a few things.
1. Are any of you with fibromyalgia highly sensitive/reactive, paradoxal concerning medications?...did I ask that already? LOL too funny...anyway
2. What have any of you done concerning the comfort of your bed? I feel like I could sleep on a bed of rocks and be just as comfortable as if I were sleeping on an expensive mattress. It all hurts. I want 0-Gravity and a dramamine LOL
3. lastly.....crazykitty...the myositis you mentioned earlier...was that from not exercising? something related to fibro? I have, and I quote "systemic idiopathic inflammation" a medical diagnosis, after a few blood tests...from my doctor at the government run health center I go to...

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 11604
   Posted 9/4/2013 10:18 PM (GMT -6)   
1. I have several drug allergies.
2. Until I bought my newest mattress I slept on 8 inches of memory foam. My newest mattress has a plush pillow top on it. Later I may add a memory foam topper as it wears down. I also use two large body pillows for propping up parts that hurt.
Joy
Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Glaucoma, Asthma, Hypothyriodism, Sleep Apnea, OA, Depression, and Allergies

When life throws you lemons....
Pick them up and throw them right back at them! :))

Luvzminis
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1638
   Posted 9/5/2013 4:56 AM (GMT -6)   
1. I seem to have become very sensitive to Elavil. 50 mg before bedtime knocks me out and makes me sleepy the entire next day. Not so with Neurontin or Flexeril--no problems with those.

2. Have added a foam topper, also. It helps somewhat, but if I wake up on my back, it can still feel like I fell three stories and landed on concrete!!
"All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle."
St. Francis

Myself 09
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 3671
   Posted 9/5/2013 8:51 AM (GMT -6)   
I have noticed that some drugs offer larger side effects than others. But I do notice that when a drug works with me, it tends to work well. Just my experience.

I sleep now on a water bed, softside. It's great.
Fibromyalgia DX 2005. Ulcerative Colitis 2003, Crohn's 2013, enteropathic arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis, 2013. History of Fibro--2 out of 3 siblings diagnosed. Started SCD-June 2013. *There are three kinds of people in the world: ones who see the glass as half-full, ones who see the glass as half-empty, and others who see a big crack in the side which is leaking all over their %$#@# foot

ak angel
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 2707
   Posted 9/5/2013 1:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Meg, does your Dr. believe in fibro? Sometimes Dr's that dont believe in fibro will order everything under the sun to try to find a diagnoses for your symptoms. It's not uncommon for EMG test because we complaine so much of tingling and numbness. Hope you get your proper diagnoses soon.

princesk8
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 9/6/2013 7:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Worst test ever, just to tell me nerve conduction is normal. It hurt so bad, I hope I never have to do it again. I have Fibro, Chiari 1 Malformation amongst other things....so frustrating when nothing comes up, despite the pain we feel.
Chiari 1 Malformation, Syringomelia, Fibromyalgia, Scoliosis, Bulging discs, occipital migraines
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