Welcome to the torture table of EMG and Nerve Conduction Tests
I just survived the combo EMG/Nerve Conduction test, and it was both worse than I thought it would be and not as bad as I feared. Let me explain. I have had the classic carpal tunnel symptoms of numbness and tingling in both hands, with a bonus of very painful tendonitis in my left, dominant hand.
A cortisone shot helped the tendonitis for a few months but the pain came back after I lifted my grandchild's 16 pounds for a week (I'm 59 years old).
Hounded by my sister who had successful carpal tunnel surgery in both hands, I decided I needed the emg/nc test to see what's going on with my hands. The nerve conduction test was done with electrodes, no needles, so there wasn't sharp pain. Just a really creepy electrical pulse running through your hand. Over and over and over again. I think it went on for about 15 minutes per hand. It's like hitting your funny bone over and over again. And it didnt hurt any more on the left, sensitive hand than the right. So far so good.
Then the doctor came in with the needles for the EMG test. Now that was painful and messy. Needles stuck into my muscles about 4 or 5 times in each arm, and then you flex your muscles. Hurts more in the hands than in the upper arm. Left me with blood spots and big bruises up and down my arms.
But let me say this - it wasn't as bad as a trip to the dentist for some procedure. Actually, after I left the office, it occurred to me that I felt like I'd been with amateur, jovial torturers. Just some light pain and creepy sensations. And I felt like a pin cushion for about 24 hours. And in case you're wondering, the doctor confirmed carpal tunnel
in both hands, with my left hand having "one of the worst cases" he'd ever seen.
But he said most patients were successful with splints and therapy and usually avoided surgery. We'll see.....
Thanks for sharing!
A jolly amateur torturer. I like that. :)
So, you had some Carpal Tunnel Symptoms on one side and Tendonitis (see: What Is Tendonitis on the other.
And they tested each side, and came back with a Carpal Tunnel Diagnosis on each side.
And they set you up with a Wrist splint and brace, told you to Rest, take Anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen, etc?
Did they mention anything about carpal tunnel symptoms coming from compression up at the front of the neck/chest/shoulder?
Anyhoo, what exactly are you doing now to try to avoid surgery? You don't have to answer, of course, but I have a great curiosity about this kind of thing.
See Related: Thank God If You've Never Had A Nerve Conduction Test
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Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert