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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board


Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index


Re: EMG before ESI?
Jun 20, 2011
just for YOU to have the very BEST chance at actually showing possible velocity flow impact that can come from certain types of inflammation with the spinal areas too, if this were me, i would obtain that EMG first. while it 'may not' impact the test, it also could and you really want 'you' as normal as possible within that c spine level when you obtain this type of test. an ESI, if it does its job right, will bring down potential sources of overall inflammation and esp possible swelling that also can impact nerve flow too, so there 'could be' a slim chance that there could be some level of impact vs non impact if ya didn't? so just to be on the safer side, i would have the EMG/NCV before ANY ESIs are done. but thats just me.

what ARE your actual symptoms that the EMG is being ordered for? unfortunetly, and this IS specifically the nature of THIS particular test, unless you are "actively" having a level of either constant or intermittant numbess or loss of fine motor function in the arm/hand/fingers anywhere at THAT time of the testing, that EMG wont show you anything more really than you know now. this test will ONLY pick up on anything that just IS actively impinging or compressing nerve to the point the velocity levels or natural 'flow' becomes impacted during testing. it simply IS geared to show ONLY impairment within nerve impulses to brain and back and to muscle to brain and back, or 'held' overall velocity just present within any given nerve. it is more or less that overall 'time' it takes for those signals(when evoked by the tester) to get thru and do their specific jobs that gets tested for. and just how well that overall flow velocity is all on its own too.

if you are merely suffering pain from ongoing inflammation at the nerves or nerve root level, nothing will actually show up as 'abnormal'. i was told this right before my very initial EMG(i have now had three since 01) where my main symptoms were a very intermittant level of tingling, off and on(more rare) numbness ONLY at one actual finger tip and also severe neck and shoulder blade pain as well. and i came out with a 'totally normal' EMG. but i HAD been told by that tech that unless the tinlges or numbing IS active during the time of that testing being done, it WOULD more than likely be a totally 'normal result, and it was but ONLY becasue my tingling/numbness decided NOT to show itself at all during my test, just a ton of pain in my neck. and i WAS pretty peeved at that since my ongoing pain and radicu crap was just THAT bad. just a no show when it NEEDED to show, ya know what i mean?

but, a few years later, when i had actual damage post op spinal cord surgery with alot of fine motor losses and some fingers/areas in my L arm totally numb, THAT one was just insane with losses of total velocitys and much lower responses in other nerve/muscle and areas tested along my hand and arm as well. so it all really depends upon YOUR radiculopathic symptoms and any real levels of impingement actually even 'being there' during the testing itself that would even determine YOUR particular results.

BUT simply having a 'normal' EMG/NCV does NOT mean you are not suffering with pain from other sources or even on and off tingling or numbness symptoms from alot of possible c spine issues. it just simply means that nothing has impinged or compressed the nerves yet(a VERY GOOD thing for YOU actually), or at least not while you were being tested.

so depending upon your specific symptoms and when or if they 'decide' to display themselves at test time, very much will impact your EMG results. good luck with this. i still would hold off on those ESIs tho, ya never know if even the more softer tissues within the spinal could be swollen and inflammed enough to actually impact nerve. and the ESIs job IS to try and reduce inflammation and any potential swelling up there too. marcia





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