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donnaddonna Posts: 40
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I need to have EMG and NCV on right arm and right leg. Can you please tell me what to expect pain,time and needle wise.
I hate needles. pain I have learned to deal with.


  • Howdy Donna,

    Looks like you navigated the "adding a thread" part pretty well there! :)

    Most of the time I've gone for these tests for both arms (with neck), and both legs (with lumbar) to make sure - or try to be sure where the issues are coming from.

    My exams have been now with 3 different Neurologists over the years. 1 by my choice and the other 2 by the preferred of the surgeon I was seeing at the time. My average time for these seem to have been between 1 hour and 1:30. The shorter ones were only when the extremities were done!

    If you do a Google search for NCV/EMG testing, you will see how they do it, but here is the basic on them - keep in mind, needles and getting stuck do not bother me. Each one of mine the tech verifies with you the area they are needing to test. The NCV (Nerve Conduction Velocity) is normally done first. This is done with electrodes places as needed for the area, and then the tech uses a probe to test the nerve areas that are suspect. Some folks find that very painful as it is shocky. This is more for the sensory nerves.

    The EMG (electromyogram) can detect abnormal muscle electrical activity in conditions such as neuropathy, carpal tunnel syndrome, Cubital Tunnel etc. This is the "needle" portion. It isn't really a needle per say as like when we get an IV, but is used to test the muscle groups for the motor nerves. This too can be painful, as many times they either move your extremity where they need it, or have you constrict said muscle. This way they can read the potentials, amplitudes, recruitment patterns etc. Me personally? I only let the Neurologist do the needle portion.

    For my arms by example (right arm really) I had a lot of "decreased amplitudes, moderate polyphasic potentials, moderate diminished recruitment, and mild to moderate decreased interference patterns" etc. The key is "mild/moderate or severe" words, as your doctor will break the rest down to English! (G) The computer puts all the readings together from these tests to aid the Neurologist in making a determination as to what is going on with your nerves, and too where or what is causing it.

    I hope that helps to answer your questions, please if you still have more, please ask. There is a moderator on here "Dave" who is well versed in these tests as well. Chat with you again soon. :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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