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Pain Management Doctor Wants to Perform a NS TEST?

SurvivorSSurvivor Posts: 6
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:48 AM in Pain Management
Hello Everyone:)This is my first time on the forum.I'm a 28 year old female with severe spinal issues.I will try to keep this as short as i can.So what i have is Severe Spinal Stenosis,3 Herniation in Lumbar,2 in Thoracic,2 Bulging in Cervical.Ive had all the injections and blocks all the medications and steroids the anti inflammatories etc.All the non-invasive and invasive treatments ive even had the surgery and unfortunately all ive ever gotten was worse.I now have permanent nerve damage post op on my right side.I cant feel to the touch of my right leg though i can feel all the pain inside my leg.Go figure huh?!! lol

Ive just started going to a new Pain Management Doctor and things were going great,FINALLLY!! Hes put me on medication that actually work for me and i feel like with these medication i can get back to living my life again.Ive feel ive been robbed of at least the last 6 or 7 years.All ive known for the past 7 years is pain,pain and more pain.Doctors appointments,treatments,surgeries,scans,new medication,fighting with Doctors who wont listen etc etc etc All the things im sure so many of you know all to well.

So since meeting him i had very high hopes of getting my life back and thinking maybe i can still achieve some of my dreams and goals for my life and maybe just maybe,the nightmare is over? That last bit just leaves me sobbing in tears.Because its not over.I seen the PM for the second time last week and he said that he wants to believe im telling him the truth but unfortunately alot of people have been caught lying to him recently.A middle-aged woman who he treats was getting medications from him and selling them.She was turned in and now he says he cant believe any patient of his.And i can understand to a point.I know there are people that are just drug seekers and we all know they will go in crying and saying there in pain and do anything they can to get the drugs.And it makes me so angry because when a person is in serious legitimate pain they are not believed or treated like a drug addict.But in my situation i have all my MRI reports proving just how severe my back is.My Surgery reports.I have all the reports of all the treatments and literally the paperwork of everything ive ever had done.But he said he wants to believe me but in order to trust me he wants me to come in in a few weeks and take a test.Im really not thrilled about another procedure but ill do it because my pain is real and i have nothing to hide.What worries me is that he will not tell me what the test is or how its performed.He will only say its an NS test.Then the other thing that makes me worry is that he said that he is one of the only remaining few Doctors who do this test because and i quote ,"its not sophisticated".All i can think is what does that mean? And this test is the only thing that will set his mind at ease he says.

My question here is if anyone knows what an NS Test is and how its performed? And i really want to know if its an accurate test because if its not then i don't think its fair to base my treatments and pain level on the "unsophisticated" test.That's not even used anymore.

I also want to add that yes the pain medication im taking are narcotic pain medication and i know that is not ideal.But is it better to have a person in chronic pain suffer and have a zero quality of life or take narcotic pain killers and have that person be able to enjoy what quality of life they can manage to have?? And i have never once taken more then prescribed and i fully intend on weening off as soon as i can.Im keeping my attitude as positive as i can and im hoping something will turn around and it will get better and i wont need narcotic pain killers.But in the meantime how does it make sense that me and people with genuine chronic pain like me suffer by not being given medication to treat our pain just because there are drug addicts out there,ya know?

Anyhow im so sorry i made this thread so very long.But if anyone does know what a NS Test is please share.I want to know what the test does and how its performed.They wont even tell me if its invasive or not.What if there are side effects or possible complication? They wont even let me know i dont think thats right.I want to make sure im being treated fairly.

Maybe they should just give us all a lie detector test huh? Id take it in a heart beat.

Thank you all for taking time to read my post.


  • I kind of wonder whether he was just messing with you. I have never heard of an NS test- nerve conduction tests, yes, but there is no test to verify that your pain is real. Nerve conduction test verify if there is nerve compression or damage, but not whether there is pain.

    Sorry, if it were me I'd be looking for a new doctor. I can't tell you what you should do, of course, but I don't like the idea of a doctor basing his trust in me on what another person has done. Plus nerve conduction studies are unpleasant :(

    And please don't think opiates are a non-ideal treatment for chronic pain. Personally, although they have difficult side effects, I am quite grateful to have such treatments available that do not eat my liver or kidneys or stomach lining. As long as you're a REAL chronic pain patient, risks are low- but we have a special program we use to scan through the computer, we'll know soon enough (KIDDING! I'M KIDDING!)

    Welcome, and good luck- keep us posted on what happens!

    p.s. Here is a link to one kind of nerve conduction test:


    I will tell you, I broke my back 3 years ago and will have major surgery in 4 weeks, and have had this one time, on my arm when I complained about weakness after a shoulder injury. I have certainly never heard of it used to diagnose pain.
  • hhmmmm... NS? The only thing I can think of is neuro stimulator? But I don't know, maybe this might jog someone's memory or knowledge?
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • Hello smiley735 :) I dont think thats it but just the same thank you so much for taking time to read my post and reply.
  • Hello happyHBmom.I really dont think its the EMG because i asked him very specifically if it was and he said no.I asked is it the test were they stick you with a needle or something and give you a little shock.And he said no thats an EMG.The test im going to do really isnt even done anymore and added that other Doctors are very impressed with his ability in performing this test.Though i thought just like you that it was the EMG at first.Also as i was scheduling for the test before i went home the nurse said,"you know you cant take any pain medication at all before the test".And actually i didnt know that because he wouldnt tell me anything about the test.So i said to her no but how long must i not take it for? She said take it before bed then dont take it again till after youve come and had the test.Then she said,or you could just take it as normal but that wouldnt be good for you hahaha.I mean is it some medevil torture test or what,ya know? I dont get the secretivity.

    It hadnt crossed my mind that he might me messing with me but he does have a date set to perform the test so something must be planned right.

    It really does boggle my mind!I just dont understand.And i do agree with you that i dont like that hes basing his trust or "mistrust" rather,based on another patient.Why do i need some secret test to prove my pain is real? He has every medical record/report that there is to have on me.Right down to the Neurosurgeons records on the Emergency surgery i had to decompress my spine.Hes met me twice now and examined me himself.What else could i do to prove im truthful and being honest? My greatest fear is he will come up with some reason to say im not being truthful "but i swear i am a billion percent" and say nope no pain medication,done.

    And i actually cant get another Doctor.It took me six months to find this Doctor and convince him to give me an appointment.There are genuinely no Doctors taking patients.And besides this i really liked him.

    And i need that pain medication,its literally the only thing thats ever worked.Its either the pain meds or no quality of life.I know its frowned upon.I know your looked at as if your a drug addict if its known you take it.So i tell nobody but close family.Even my Pharmacists assistant gives me the "look" every time i go to get my scripts filled.Its a medication for people with Chronic Pain yet its refused to nearly most Chronic Pain patients.And i am grateful that something out there works for my pain and gives me some chance of having some chance at a quality of life.I just wish i wasnt made to feel so bad and humiliated because of Chronic Pain which is not my fault.Im a patient and i deserve proper treatment just as a cancer patient,a heart disease patient,a diabetic,or any other illness.Just because there are people out there who abuse the medication people like me need im treated as less.Its not fair to be made to suffer.Thank you so much for taking time to respond.Best wishes to you :)
  • I wonder if your doc is referring to a Neural Scan.
    apainmanagementpractice said:
    The neural scan works by detecting where you hurt and why. A trained professional can look at the immediate and accurate results and determine what the next course of action for your chronic pain should be. The entire information gathering process takes only a few minutes and the results are easy to implement.
  • Very interesting. The studies are small, though, and all end with "need for more study."

  • Hello haglandc.I do think thats the test so thank you so much for your help.

    Ive just quickly looked up some information about this test and it looks interesting if its as accurate as it claims to be.Its says the Neuron Scan Test is ...The NEW Gold Standard for identifying the root cause of pain.Its said to Take just 15 Minute -Completely Painless - Extremely Accurate - Does not use Needles.Sounds good,right? Who doesn't want to know the exact root of all the pain that's destroying their lives.If its as great
    as they say then i think its an exciting new test to help people.

    But i do wonder if its so great wwhy dont all PM,Neurologist,Neurosurgeons have this test in there offices if its so accurate.Surely it would help all the Doctors & the Patients.That's whats making me doubt its,and i quote "Extreme Accuracy".

    Also i might be wrong but as far as ive read it detects the root of the pain not the exact levels of ones pain.Which is what my PM said he was doing this test on me for.To quote "Ease my mind that your telling the truth".And FYI not because of anything ive ever lied or done wrong but because he had a patient who was doing bad things and lying about pain.Now im being treated like a liar and having to go through tests and treated as a liar.

    I have zero to lie about my pain is very very unfortunately real.

    My only concern with the test is that if it does detect your pain levels then that scares me.Even though my pain is 90% of the time a constant ,never letting up pain,what if during that exact day during those exact 15 minutes of the test my pain level is shown less then it was the day before or even the day after.But he takes it as im a liar and refuses to treat me anymore.That's what has me so scared.I already have high anxiety the last thing i need amongst all the pain is worrying about a DR it took me 6+ months to find will boot me outof his practice for something i had nothing to do with.

    I dont know about you lot but ive had just about enough of being treated this way.My reports and scans etc all show im not a liar.Do they make patients with other serious and Chronically painful diseases constantly have to take test to "Prove" they are not liars? Are they treated as if they are liars all the time?Its not fair.I know there are people doing very bad things out there but im not one of them.Im not on a street corner im at my DOCTORS office with all my scans and medical history and ive been left standing there crying many times from some of the looks the Nurses have given me or the tones that have been taken when speaking with me.I couldn't tell you how many times i have literally apologized to people for being in pain.Im very sorry,rant over lol
  • Well, that's their advertisement for the product.

    I scanned a few more results, and found doctors discussing it said it's no more accurate than standard methods of examination.

    And I wouldn't like the idea that a doctor had to perform a test that is not SOP not because it would help me, but because it would help him. I presume he would charge you for it?

    But ultimately this is your choice- I am lucky in that I do not have a dearth of pain management doctors in my area, so my decision might be different from yours.
  • Hello happyHBmom :) He never mentioned it was my choice.Basically ive taken it as a "if you dont do it then you know where the door out is" kind of situation.As for if i have to pay for it i just assumed it was covered by my insurance since he never
    mentioned additional costs.If i have to pay out of pocket for it then i wont be doing it unless he tells me how exactly this test will be benefiting me.Because i already know my pain is not a lie and i already know which discs are herniated so he will have to give me a better reason for paying for this particular test.And ive had all the others like the EMG ans the usual standard procedure tests.And if there is no big difference then why does he insist on this particular test? I dont know somethings feeling a little off about the whole things.But thank you again :)
  • If your doctor won't tell you more about the test and what the expectations are of the test, I would be cautious. First, you should make sure your insurance is going to cover it. If most doctors are not performing it, then there is a chance the insurance will not pay for it. Second, I've not ever had a doctor refer me for a test without them explaining the test and what they are looking for from the test. To show you are not lying about the pain makes me worry, because like you mentioned, you might be having a good day on the day of the test - then what. I would ask him to explain the test and if he refuses I'd worry about what he is hiding.
    Hang in there.
  • To our little community. Sounds like you have been through so much, you poor thing. I hope you get this sorted out to YOUR benefit.

    I'm on the fence with this topic, here's why.

    I too suffer from chronic pain and take several meds a day to survive, including oxycodone, which I am not ashamed of at all, it keeps me going, I never get high off them, I use them as intended. The funny thing is, I had my surgery thinking it would result in a life without the need of pain meds, not the case, not for me.

    My pain management doc also expressed concern to me regarding true sufferers and not so true sufferers when I first met him 2 weeks post op ALIF. My post op care/pain management from my NS wasn't touching my pain.

    My pm doc has now become my advocate, my care coordinator, and a life saver!

    He knew I was in obvious physical pain (level 8-10). He corrected my meds and then he did require me (and all patients) to see a psychiatrist and neuropsychologist who administered some chronic pain testing & evaluations. I was put back at first. But I understood his point. I also witnessed first hand In his office a situation where a patients meds where not kept out of reach and patients son had taken them and was in ER. It was not a pleasant conversation to overhear, it was horrible, loud and scary.

    With the massive rise in prescription drug abuse these doctors have not only their practice & livelihood on the line, but peoples lives are at stake. These docs need some sort of insight (In general, not for me or you, but for all). Now what makes my two physc appointments a better gauge then your doc NS test? I don't know. Did my tests really show who I really am, I guess. Could someone cheat, I doubt it, that's why I think he does the two separate evaluations. I knew it made my pm doc more comfortable to treat me (and covered his butt) and I was willing to prove myself.

    It's the same concept as the TSA issues, we are not all terrorists, yet we have to prove it (body scan, search). No one wants to be on board a flight with an explosive device, so we submit. Same logic we are talking about!

    What gives me an odd feeling about your pm & the mystery test, is just that, why the secrecy? In your initial post you didn't even know what he would be subjecting you to, that bothers me. Again, I see his side. Fool me once. These doctors have to draw their lines.

    I wish the best for you and hope you find a doctor that you can have a true relationship with.

    Good luck survivor.


  • I guess I agree with Virginia about being on the fence with this-but lke she also says, we do what we are asked, and we usually do not question it. We are all looking for something to make the pain stop.
    Right now, I think I would be willing to do almost anything.
    Like Virginia, I feel that my pain management doctor is my advocate, and trust his judgement on my treatment. I don't know why he never sent me to a psychiatrist-but I actually wish he would have. When I began seeing him, I was an actual BASKET CASE. I am better now, but still have major problems with depression. I also think an examination by a neuropsychologist would provide a lot of insight.
    I am new to this sight and just learning about a lot these tests and treatments.
    Good luck with all of this and keep us posted.
  • Hi and welcome to Spine Health!
    Several years ago I injured myself at work and was sent to the Company Doctor.
    He had me sit on the exam table and ran his thumb down my spine, pressing hard. He hit one spot on my spine that caused me to scream and jump off the table.(Scared the heck out of hem, and me too. LOL)
    After that he ask me to close my eyes because he wanted to do a nerve test on my fingers and hands.

    It felt like he was using a thin wire to touch each finger and I was ask if it felt dull or sharp and which finger he was touching or if he was touching any finger.

    I wonder if this is the test he is talking about? I have never had a test like that since then.

    Best of luck to you.
    Cheers :H
    Patsy W

  • Hello.I would just like to add a few more things about myself to make things a bit more clear about who i am and my situation.I know that's narcotic pain medication is a big topic of debate.I want to point out that i have never abused my medication ,not even by going a mere 15 minutes before its time to take another tablet.Also i refused Narcotic Pain medications for three full years of unbearable agony.Why? Truthfully just because i plain hate medication.I mean before my back issues i wouldn't even take a Tylenol or and Advil.Ive about as clean slate as you can get.Meaning i dint drink never have,don't smoke nor have i ever,never did a single drug in my entire life nor would i even talk to people who did do drugs.And at 28 i still feel the exact same way.I don't take these medications because they make me "high" i take them because its the unfortunately the only thing that even touches my pain.And believe me ive tried every thing there is.Ive had every treatment ever asked of me ,ive had every test ive ever been told to take.Though ill admit i was a bad patient when it came to taking Narcotic pain Killers.I would just refuse.Not a chance id say.Ill live with it.But ya know what? I wasnt living anymore.I didn't eat,didn't sleep hell i didn't even move.All i did was cry and scream till id pass out for a few minutes then wake up and cry and scream some more.Lost all my friends,all my family,all the people who i thought loved me.I lost my job,lost my apartment.I couldn't drive,i couldn't even walk.My dreams of getting my degree,over.I hear people crying and hurting just as much as me but most of them have a loved one to hold there hand and knowing there loved brings them some comfort.Im all alone.I have the biggest heart.Im a very good person.But everyone lef me because nobody could deal with somebody who looked dead but all they could do anymore was scream and cry.Finally my Pain Management Doctor at the time came to me with prescriptions already written up and held it out to in his hands and said please take these and handed them to me and said you have to trust me you need this medication.We have to get your pain under control.I had them filled.And i cried taking the pill and cried myself to sleep.This is how much i had zero interest in taking this pill.Now shockingly they didnt even work those pills.It took over a month for them to get any sort of pain relief.And ive taken them since.Im still just as unhappy now thats i was then with having to take Narcotic Pain Killers.But im so happy there is something that allows me some sort of a life.Granted not in a million close to what i had planned for myself but some kind of life.Ive never been given a correct dosage in my opinion.I think because doctors are afraid.I dont mean to sound like im saying i have the worst pain in the world and im not but if those pills are on the market for anybody then they are on the market for people like me.So why am i punished? Why am i always second guessed and question.No offense to any of you but i feel even on a forum such as this most people hearing im taking the pills i take will wonder in there minds.And question who i am before answering a post by me,ya know? Just to paint out every single month sometimes twice a month i give blood and urine also sometimes saliva drug test and not once from any Doctor ive ever have i ever been shown to have abused or taken the prescriptions wrong,absolutely never.And i could swear to the day im blue,i never ever have nor will i ever ever.As far a therapist and psychiatrist,i have seen them and i have one i see plenty.Before my back issues i was perfectly happy no depression.But now i have Chronic Pain everyone living in pain is depressed or there not human lol That's only natural.I will say im not hurting because im depressed i get down and depressed because my back wont stop hurting so intensely.But i do see one regularly just to be able to vent my frustration because i think that's a healthy thing to do for anybody.But i wasn't recommended to go see a therapist.That was my own idea.I felt i needed somebody to just listen to me vent my frustration about Doctors and the Stigma on using Narcotic Pain Killers and how unfair it is to those who need then for PAIN.Also i have no children so there is no chance of anyone getting into my bottle.Also i live alone.And i keep my pills locked up anyway.And i don't even let people outside of my parents and PM know that i even take them.Shockingly in everything ive said i still do see 1000% the Doctors side of wanting to be sure a patient is telling the truth.And that's why i am more then happy to do any test they ask me to take.But after nearly 7 full years of me never abusing anything or caught lying and im still asked to prove myself,prove myself,prove myself.Ya know what ive done enough of proving myself.I just want to be treated with some respect like an patient with a painful illness that is suffering and there life has been destroyed.But instead i get piercing looks and looks from Doctors and nurses staring to try and suss out my lies except i don't have any lies.Im tired im still a young girl whose life was robbed away yet im treated like a common criminal when ive not even done the slightest naughty thing in my life.Fair enough if i had been caught lying or using the medication wrong then fair enough take it away.Insist on all these test,give me the looks etc.But ive done nothing for people to not believe me.Like i said my scans and surgery reports show this isnt a lie.And i don't plan on being on these types of pills forever.It is my goal to be fit enough to not have to take them.

    Im sorry for this very emotional post.Im just very frustrated always having to prove myself.Knowing im telling the truth and nobody ever believing me.Im just a patient hurting.Why should i be forced to hurt an unbearable hurt just because there are drug seekers out there? Its just not fair.Just not fair.Again im sorry for this emotional post.Im in lots of pain tonight and im frustrated too because i just want my own Doctors to believe me.Believe me until i give a reason for you not too.And this test im being forced to take again isnt because i did anything wrong it was another patient whom ive never even met.

    Thank you all so much for answering my posts.If anybody understands how horrible im feeling its you lot so i really hope at least you guys believe me even though you dont really know me.Ok goodnight everyone.I hope your in as little pain as possible tonight.Best wishes always!
  • There is no debate about narcotic pain meds here! I'd say a good half of people are on an opiate of some sort or another.

  • Hi Survivor, I am a 30 yo female with spinal issues and major chronic pain. I don't have much advice on the NS test, but I just wanted to let you know you are not alone. My back problems started when I was 24, and I have lost my career, some friends and a lot of the normalcy in my life. I too am taking pain medication to keep my pain at a somewhat manageable level, and also see a pain management doctor. I know my PM doc does urine screens every few months to see if you are taking your medication correctly, I wonder if your PM does this? Anyway, just wanted you to know you have support here!

  • YOU are NOT alone. We all are here for each other. Like I mentioned in my earlier post, it really sounds as though you have been through a lot. After reading your recent post I see how much suffering and hurt you are in. Like HappyHB said, there is NO debate here.

    Like you, I have to prove myself over & over, monthly urine screen. I've never abused my meds in any definition of the word.

    I try NOT to take it personally. Again I kind of spelt out MY view of the pm doc's reasoning (in my earlier post) and I understand it. I accept that I will pee in a cup every month to follow protocol set by doctor. This pain mgmt doctor has truly been a care giver to me. I know he knows I don't abuse my meds, but its his office & his process & procedures that I will follow.

    Survivor, hang in there girl. We are here to support you, ok. Like your name you have survived and endured so much. Keep on surviving!

  • and I don't have anything to hide, and have had to submit to random drug screens in my profession, so no big deal.

    We do all have unique issues and should be treated with respect and dignity. We do not deserve to be mistreated due to the acts of another person.

    It seems that many people have difficulty in finding a pm doctor that can provide us with answers and support...A true advocate. Guess that is the case with other medical specialties, but I chose badly coming out of the gate. I hope that my next choice is more like Virginia's because the last 3 months have been horrible.

    Hopefully this test will be simple, and you should go into it with a positive attitude. With any test, I believe you do much better when you are thinking good thoughts.

    You should be provided "informed consent". Please google this term, and ask for it before you submit to any testing. If you were having surgery, you have to sign a consent form saying that you understand the risks and benefits of the procedure. This should be no different, especially if you ask for it specifically.

    Good luck,

  • I have been there. Refusing meds, not wanting to be narcotic dependent, losing friends, your job, basically your entire life.

    My PMD does urine drug screen every few months, and I understand and accept that. Like you, I have nothing to hide.

    I would welcome anything he can do to verify that my pain is what I claim it to be. Like you, I have no reason to lie.

    This is hard. It is hard to feel like someone doubts your word. It is hard to have family and friends that don't understand. It is hard to deal with the pain. It is hard to lose control.

    Take the medication and get your pain under control. Educate yourself on the procedures that your doc wants to do. Don't think that everyting is being done because someone doubts your word, beleive that it is being done to help the doc better understand all of the factors involved in your pain. Pain is subjective. He can't see it to tell how bad it hurts or identify where it is coming from.

    I hope this helps. I am just now starting to look for answers for myself. I feel like I have finally regained a little bit of control over my situation.

    Take a deep breath....... Keep us posted.
  • Hi Survivor, I am one NOT on the fence with your pm doc's testing....
    You wrote"What worries me is that he will not tell me what the test is or how its performed.He will only say its an NS test.Then the other thing that makes me worry is that he said that he is one of the only remaining few Doctors who do this test because and i quote ,"its not sophisticated".

    The only test I can think of that tells a pm where the pain is,not if there is pain, is Discogram....I had one but it is not a test the "isn't done anymore"

    I feel badly for you but I would search everywhere for another pm doc.Never would I take a test that wasn't completely explained to me,side effects and all!

    I hope you find out what it is before you do this test and know what you're in for.Just remember,we have to play by the rules but the pm doc works for you,not the pm doc dictating to you.You pay him for his expertise and knowledge,knowledge that he doesn't seem to want to include you in on.That worries me greatly.

    Good luck to you n sorry so long post but we all have our thoughts.All of my doc's, nuero and pm's tell me to research everything I've ever had done...before it's done.They also answer all of my ?'s
    Again, good luck to you,and don't worry about being called a drug addict.When u take it daily it doesn't effect you like a druggie.The pills eat the pain up for me.I hope everything goes well for you.
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