Nerve Conduction Test How Painful?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by slowingdown, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. slowingdown

    slowingdown New Member

    I went to the neurologist a second time yesterday. MRIs came back fine so he now wants to do a nerve conduction test. I have to wait another month for that. The waiting is what I don't like. I'd like more answers now. How painful is the nerve test and about how long does it take?

    BILLCAMO New Member

    it was not painful at all. With my memory problems , I can't remember exactly how long it took. But I think it was about 15 or 20 mins.

    Blessings ,

  3. Salix

    Salix New Member

    but more at the time of the impulse rather than afterwards. Apparently it should just be a pinprick but I was leaping off the table. The doctors looked shocked so I think it's uncommon. I don't have FMS but I'm not great with anything electrical. All that leaping about tired me too, so I was pleased I had someone with me.

  4. twerp

    twerp New Member

    The test was not painful for me at all. I belive it took about 20 minutes. Hope that relieves your mind a little.

  5. msbsgblue

    msbsgblue Member

    They can do it one of two ways, to check mine further they used the needle stick and then the little tingling shock.

    Some just do the shock. But since I was having such a problem with legs they used the needle. It is tiny, just a prick and then the tingle of the shock wave. Not much more then touching something and getting that static shock some of us get.
  6. marti_zavala

    marti_zavala Member

    i will be honest, it hurt me. but that is a good thing so i didn't complain.

    when it doesn't hurt, the nerve is dead or damaged.

    i had both the shock and the pin prick. only hurts for millisecond when they do the pinprick. it doesn't hurt for the whole 20 minutes.

  7. texangal81

    texangal81 New Member

    I haven't had it done although the orthopedic surgeon suggested it, however my mom had it done and she said it was painful, she only let them do one leg. But she also has peripheral neuropathy so I'm not sure if that has anything to do with the pain.
  8. willruthie1965

    willruthie1965 New Member

    My hubby said it was very painful
    . He said he will never let me get one. Ruthie
  9. Debra49659

    Debra49659 New Member

    I had the study done on both wrist which did not take a very long time and was not painful at all...just a twitch. My doc even did a demo on himself so I would now what to expect:) he did not do the one with the needles mom had that one done on her legs and she said it was uncomfortable but not worth all the worrying she did. I know how you feel though...we have to deal with soooo much other pain and the though of having to deal with more is horrible. Call the doctors office and ask which type of test is being done and can you take some valium or something before the test if you are worried too much.

  10. lrning2cope

    lrning2cope New Member

    That when I had this test done it was very painful , and made my muscles go into painful spasms.

    I wasn't diagnosed with Fibro when I had them and the doctor was not that sympathetic , so it could be that I just had an unusually bad experience.

    I hope your test goes better than mine did.

  11. Empower

    Empower New Member

    I really didn't think it was too bad

    it took about 20 minutes or so

    NOt as bad as my fibro pain!
  12. msbsgblue

    msbsgblue Member

    Someone replied, "when it doesn't hurt, the nerve is dead or damaged."

    Mine didn't hurt and no mine is not dead or damaged in fact I was told mine were fine.
  13. mort1

    mort1 New Member

    Hi Slowingdown -

    If you have a definite diagnosis of Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and are walking ok and your arms work ok and your eyelids do not droop, this test is useless, and waste of your time and money.

    Your neurologist is probably trying to rule out Mysenia Gravis, a neuro condition having the above muscle paralysis symptoms. He is simply trying to protect himself against the remote possibility of a lawsuit (his greatest fear) and also to make money for himself and wherever the test is done. Hospitals make obscene profits on all tests...

    I had a nerve conduction test done in 1994, my first CFS year, when 6 MDs were stabbing in the dark trying to diagnose me. They all failed, after lots of testing. That was in Columbia, MO and all the docs were "brilliant" MDs at the Univ of MO medical school and hospital. And also full professors. I was correctly CFS-diagnosed in 1996, in NY.

    OK, so I did have slight newly-numb feet, but that is a standard CFS symptom. And so is slow nerve conduction, which mine proved to be, although I continue to walk ok and my arms work ok and my eyelids do not droop, after 14 years with CFS.

    Well, nerve conduction velocity is a fun and interesting test, and a standard student teaching lab experiment in most Medical Physiology courses. I directed hundreds of medical students in performing that test on themselves, for many years, as a Physiology Dept faculty member at the University of Missouri 1965-1980. I did it on myself to test our equipment every year, and it was interesting to have it done by one of my past students, trying to diagnose my CFS. Yes, my leg and arm nerve conduction velocity was indeed down about 30%, but big deal; we have lots of reserve capability and none of us is trying to become a World Boxing Champion, where fast motor nerves are very needed.

    Does your neuro MD know about CFS? Has he ever heard of it, except from you? I bet not...

    He/She is just trying to cover his/her own butt, so say Sayonara to him/her, if you have a solid CFS/Fibro diagnosis.

    We have about 15 very big hospitals here near Pittsburgh, PA and they all made a profit of about 70 million $ each last year. My wife was in hospital administration until 4 years ago, so we know the ropes. All hospitals try to keep patient stay days to a minimum, as that is a loss factor, but they make most of their money on tests, test, tests.

    And doctors prescribe excessive testing because they fear they will miss something and be sued for it. Their practices are lawsuit-fear driven. So they test for everything remotely possible. They should be sued for this!

    I am now very weak due to CFS so when any of my docs suggest a way-out test, I question it very hard and they usually back off. I know more about CFS than any one of them, or even all combined. I am educating them, though.

    A nephew of mine graduated this month with an MD, from a very famous medical school. I asked him last week how much class time was spent on CFS during his four years in med school and he told me, "About five minutes, and CFS was said to be due to Epstein-Barr disease"! Wrong, wrong, wrong, as proven by Dr. Paul Cheney in 1987 and even then CDC and NIH said he was very correct. Epstein-Barr, or mononucleosis has nothing to do with CFS... But this crap is even today is being taught to new MD physicians.

    It is indeed tragic that we patients have to educate our doctors about CFS. And to do that, we must educate ourselves about this very disabling disease. Knowledge is power, freedom and happiness, said Thomas Jefferson, and he was exactly right. He knew the doctors were wrong in excessive blood-letting of his sick wife Martha, after she died from lack of blood due to their treatments, and he did not trust doctors the rest of his life. They indeed did kill her, as they did George Washington, by excessive bleeding of them both. President Washington just had a very bad cold, and his doc killed him by bleeding him to death. Martha Jefferson may have had CFS or Fibromyalgia...

    At least blood-letting is no longer a medical therapy, except in very rare excess-blood diseases.

    Let us hope that none of us is made worse by today's CFS "therapies". How can we be sure? By educating ourselves in basic medicine and physiology.

    Got to hit it - fun typing all this, but it has fatigued me to the passout point.

    Mort Caldwell, PE, BSEE, MS (Physiology)
    Biomedical Engineer
    CFS since July 16, 1994

  14. robin1667

    robin1667 New Member

    I have had this done twice.It was painful both times.But you can get through it,just try to relax the muscles they are testing.I know it's hard to do,especially when your scared.I had both the needle and shock test.One showed carpal tunnel,the other showed damage to my cervical spine.It took about 20 min. each time.In my opinion,the ins. co. wanted more proof that there was a problem and that I needed surgery.Everything is really controled by them.You can deny having it done,but I did it.Take care. Robin PS. The waiting is always the hardese part,hang in there!
  15. slowingdown

    slowingdown New Member

    Thanks to everyone for all your insights. I do not have a Fibro diagnosis yet, but that is what my chiropractor thinks it may be. The neurologist had me get brain and cervical MRIs to rule out MS. Those came back fine. I've dealt with lots and lots of aches, pains, etc. for 2 years every since my herniated disk in back really flared up, but the worst is what has happened since Jan. - vertigo, dizziness, fatigue beyond measure, nystagmus, weakness in arms and legs, ear pressure, ringing in ears, numbness, etc. I am someone willing to do whatever the doctors tell me if it will help. I am trying a dairy-free and gluten-free diet. I don't really want to end up on lots of pain pills. I'd like to try more natural approaches, but I have to reach for the Advil more and more in order to even cope -- and this is summer. I teach school, and won't be able to just take a break whenever I feel like collapsing. Sorry for venting. Again, thanks for your responses. I feel a little more at ease about the procedure. I just wish I didn't have to wait another month for it. I need some answers.
  16. marti_zavala

    marti_zavala Member

    While I agree with Mort on just about every point, I think your symptoms would justify the test.

    I had severe rib and back pain with no reasons - an MRI with contrast showed a bulging disc pushing into my spinal cord. This is important to know so that I don't "push" through the pain and injure the bulge even more. Once that disc tears, the pain is awful so I really don't want to go there.

    But they wouldn't do another MRI without having done the EMG (nerve conduction tests) first.

    The worrying about it is worse then the testing but I do understand wanting answers NOW!

    Hang in there!
  17. PatientX82

    PatientX82 New Member

    If you are still experiencing the vertigo symptoms, I would suggest you go to an ENT to be tested for Meniere's Disease. I was diagnosed with it back in 2005. It is a hard medical condition to deal with, especially since doctors do not know much about it. I was looking thru the boards because I am going for that nerve test tomorrow. I understand the struggles of not knowing what is going on what is going on with your body and the doctors that just dismiss you because you look healthy. Meniere's is basically an imbalance disorder that can be treated very easily with medication. There are also many online support groups for people with Meniere's. I am no doctor, but you have all the symptoms I did. Drop attacks are not fun, they are rather scary and that's how most people are dignosed. I hope this helps. Feel better.<BR>
  18. bobbycat

    bobbycat New Member

    could be but check migraine associated vertigo that manifest itself in dizzyness and balance, nauseousness instead of the migrain also