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Pain Management doctor says EMG is not recommended for back pain!



  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    edited 07/27/2015 - 11:31 AM
    All the emg's I had were never because of cervical, thoracic or back pain

    They were l done to identify the extent of nerve damage
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • He said it is never done on the back only extremities. I suggested this to my PM because of people in the forums stating they had back pain and X-Rays, -MRI's were negative and had this test which showed the specific area & the cortisone injected into that area solved their pain. I also take Gabapentin which I thought was for nerve pain? I also feel who cares I am in excruciating pain & it is only a test. I have done every other test or treatment available.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    edited 07/27/2015 - 11:44 AM
    Yes, the emg tests are not done directly on the spine. They are done at various parts of the bodies where the suspected nerve damage to be. Could be in your fingers, parts of your arms, thighs, shins, toes, etc

    Some of what you read in the forums is why we are tell people not to give out medical advice. People mean well and I am sure in their own situation thats the way things happen. But it is not the same for everyone.

    The emg tests are not primarily done when all other tests prove to be negative. Quite the opposite, many emg's are done to pinpoint the extent and location of the nerve damage. That taken with all the other diagnostic tests help paint a truer picture of the patient's condition.

    The cortisone/steroid injection I assume you are talking about are the ESI (Epidural Spinal Injections). They are done in near sterile environments under guidance of fluoroscope or x-ray to guide the needle into the exact position. Reading the forums you will almost get a 50-50 success rate on ESIs

    I realize that you are in pain, but having the various tests are very important. You want the medical field to determine what the best course of action is for you.

    Gabpentin(Neurontin) along with Pregabalin(Lyrica) are the standard nerve medications. Each has the pro's and con's With Gabpentin, there is a wide range of various dosages that the doctor can prescribe. Pregabalin, has a much closer range.

    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • maryneurommaryneuro Posts: 2
    edited 07/27/2015 - 6:24 PM
    EMG is only used to help a physician confirm if leg pain and arm pain is due to radiculopathy. FYI....your legs hurt, it confirms it's from the sciatic nerve in your back or will tell if it's neuropathy. Not a necessity if an MRI already shows spinal stenosis or compression of the nerves in the spine

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  • katie77 said:
    After pouring through this forum looking for answers I was so happy to learn of the EMG test that can pinpoint nerve pain. In addition, I have read posts stating that after having a cortisone injection into the specific nerve they were finally pain free. These people had the same type of thoracic pain I do and had this test done on their back. Therefore, armed with this knowledge I called my PM and he states the EMG is not for back pain??? What? I was so hopeful for once. I guess I have to look for a new PM.
  • I have been diagnosed through MRI s of cervical, thoracic and lumbar of herniations at all levels, along with stenosis, spondylosis, osteophytes and tarlov cysts...and much more. I began having pins and needle in my legs and hands which was the reason an EMG was ordered, they found a pinched nerve causing the leg numbness and ulner nerve damage causing my elbow pain ... I'm having some further tests .. Surgery could be recommended but I'm apprehensive. My thoughts here are in my experience EMG wasn't ordered until I felt pins and needles in my extemeties which is where the EMG tests are... Arms and legs. I hope this helps, best of luck in your pain management.
  • I guess we all cling to the hope we will find the test or procedure that will take us out of pain. Thank you all for setting me strait. I do have tingling and numbness in my hands but I had the pain before that started. I am open to any suggestions that can relieve my thoracic pain. My pain is in the form of severe muscle spasms. My quality of life is ... I say a 4. I can't waste any more of my young life on this pain.
    Thank you
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