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EMG/NCV test

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I was just reading about this EMG/NCV test - this test can show if there is nerve damage? Is that correct. I don't believe that Scott has ever had this test done. His pain mgmnt dr has been poking, proding, burning etc his nerves and has come up with nothing conclusive - at least that he is telling us. I would think this would be a test that should be done then if it tells the doctor if there is nerve damage. Will it show what kind of damage? Should Scott ask his doctor about it? (for those who don't know Scott's story since I just joined, it's in here titled new, major neck issues)

I love this forum - I'm learning so much.


  • Yes Scott's GP can order this test and if it's abnormal for sure a Neurologist will be informed. I think this test confirms things although I believe the Drs can tell certain things through a physical assessment. That's good you noticed and should be brought to the GP's attention. Take care. Charry
    P.S. Of course this is just a support group and this is in no way medical advice, just sharing from personal experience.
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I had a neurologist perfrom mine and yes it does show damage. I think this is a very important test and needs to be done before any surgery or injections. Just my thought.

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  • Cool. I will have him bring it up to his neurologist when he has his appt on Dec 11
  • And just to comment on the test itself. I had mine last week, and was so worried, especially from what everyone was telling me. I actually had mine performed by a Physician Assistant and Neurophysiologist at my Neurosurgeons office in GA. It was so much better than what I'd heard. Even the needle part wasn't even painful. Just like when you have your blood drawn, it all depends on who is doing it and how much experience the person has.
  • Hey Scott,

    The EMG test really does work. For several weaks the doctors thought that I had a tear in my rotator cuff. I was experiencing severe pain and weakness when extending my right arm outward. Only until after an MRI of my rotator cuff with negative findings.

    After the EMG test was done, the neurologist told me that I had a severe herniated disc C4-C5 region. I was happy to finally had a prognosis to my problem. #o

    EMG is the way to go. =D>
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  • My nerve conduction study and EMG is what turned my diagnosis around. And I think the level of pain one might experience is directly related to the level of damage they may have.
  • These two test show more than any other test I have had done. Even a myelgram did not show what they showed. It is an important test, I agree with Cherish22.

  • All physical indications shows problem with nerve but EMG showed negative results, on MRI there is a tear on the nerve but EMG does not show this I'm confused..
  • Others will comment I'm sure, but I wanted to add my 2 cents worth.....An EMG/nerve study will show if there is nerve compression on the large nerve roots that run off of each side of the vertebras and branch out to the arms and legs and other organs. When you have a disc that is torn, you may not have nerve damage, but still lots of pain from the extra movement of the vertebras, sort of like having a broken leg with pain, where the two edges of bone are colliding. Does that make any sense? Sometimes they do the EMG/NVS to see if you do have nerve issues to be sure that everything is covered when you have surgery.

    Just because your EMG was normal, doesn't mean you aren't having a lot of pain or that you don't need surgery, it just means that the torn disc is generating the pain and once fixed, you shouldn't have leftover nerve problems. It's a good thing. :)

  • My EMG almost 2 years ago showed nothing, unfortunately despite my pain. Now my pain is much, much worse and I'm hoping the new one shows the issue.

    I hope the EMG isn't bad for you like it was for me. Many people don't have an issue, just like with Wisdom Teeth removal but mine were horrific. The EMG was absolutely awful for me, so bad that I can still remember how painful it was. The needles weren't the worst part, it was the electric shocks and flexing the muscles with needles in them.

    Mind you acute pain doesn't really affect me, I've had enough to be able to ignore it.
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