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Neurophysiology EMG Testing


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Morning everyone!

I'm just wondering if any other members have had EMG testing for muscle weakness? Aparently it involves sticky pads on your skin & to test the nerves with small electrical impulses. I have an appointment to have this done in a few weeks & would like to know what to expect, especially about the bit of the letter that says 'a small needle may be inserted into some of the muscles' :shocked:

Not sure I like the sound of that! Hopefully someone can tell me they've had this done & I am being a huge big drama queen because needles were mentioned :wink:

Michelle xx

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Oh here I am again, I had this done about 4 or 5 years ago. It was not a big deal. It was done prior SAH for my Fibro at the time. They just did stickies and small impluses of electicity was felt. If you do not feel it they would poke you with needles. It did not hurt at all. :-D

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Never had it done, but I used to do it on Lampreys for my research...which coincidentally, I was studying the descending motor systems from the area where I had my SAH! Strange how life makes circles.

How did your tests come out? Is there anything to be done? I have this same weakness.

~Kris

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Hi Michelle, I had an EMG after my aneurysm. I developed frozen shoulders - a side effect of brain surgery. I had an EMG to determine if the issue was neurological. I found the test to be unpleasant. Many of the needles

were uncomfortable, especially those in the neck and shoulders. A quick electrical impulse was then shot through some of the needles. I'm sure a lot of the experience depends upon the doctor doing the test and where the needles are inserted.

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Thank you Lisa,

I have already decided they can stick ONE needle in.....I'll let them know if I'm having any more inserted after that;-) I don't do pain & am well able to voice my opinions if it's inflicted on me :devil:

I've already done a week of ECG where they scratch your skull to insert needles, not sore as it's done but pretty sore after a few days of it. I'm not so desperate for a diagnosis that I'd do that again......

I am how I am and one day they will accept that my issues are brain injury related alone. It's not uncommon if you read the posts......I don't have the same need to explain it as the doctors do......

Interesting that I told the same rehab consultant 3 years ago that I felt my arms & legs were weaker and she dismissed my concerns, she felt that I was 'weaker' than her but wasn't concerned about it - now, suddenly we need to do more tests to find the reason......it gets a little boring.

Michelle

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crazy that a doctor cannot understand that damage to descending neurons to the muscles can causes weak signals to be sent to the muscles so that they perform weakly. Duh as far as I am concerned, I learned that in undergraduate animal biology 101.

The most interesting part to me is how quickly the recovered neurons fatigue. I never really thought about it. It makes sense though as they are recovering/not recovered/rerouted signals that the brain is not used to having. So we get tired warn out legs...the muscles begin to degrade more as we use them less...it's a cause and effect thing that they for some reason are so ignorant about.

I've been thinking about ways to challenge my neurons before they conk out like lifting one heavy weight and then that's it. I know it seems unconventional, but hey...

I'm looking forward to the stuff they say is wrong with you. Ask them to convince you that it is NOT from SAH. I'm sure they can find every thing that it could be, but why can it not be SAH?

~Kris

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Kris, I got more from your last post than a day with the doctors.

Seriously, the concept that our damaged neurons can recover a bit but then exhaust far more easily. That makes my rational head happy with the sense of it so thanks.

Now we just have to work out how to overcome it.

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I rode my bike today after yoga and so I'll see if my legs feel totally wiped tomorrow. My husband said we were going slow, and I felt like the speed was slow, but that I was putting in full effort. Slow, weak legs!!!

And Daff, Meditate for sure :lol: but medicate if needed.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thank you for the reminder Kris! I tried to reply to your pm but I got an error message that my messages are full - I will go in and delete soon.

I had the EMG testing on Tuesday. Sorry, I haven't been feeling very well for a couple of weeks so am not keeping up with BTG as much as usual.

I didn't find the testing very pleasant, especially painful in my legs but really not a problem when they started on my arms. This was noted by the doctor. The good news is that I do not have the neuropathy that I was diagnosed with which led to this testing :-D I also didn't need to have the needles inserted into my muscles which is a good thing as I think I would've refused to have it done by the time they finished doing the testing on the outside of my limbs. The doctor did explain that everyone differs in how they find it - some people really can not deal with it at all, others say it was actually 'pleasurable' YIKES (he did say that was rare though :lol:)

The end result is that a lot of conditions have been ruled out but still no answer other than maybe a SAH???? My words, not his! I asked about the SAH causing the weakness & the aches. He replied that the blood from an SAH is only in your head, the nerves that control things in your legs are in the spinal column which is not affected by the bleed. Well, silly me, I thought the blood drained down the spinal area. I also had a lumbar puncture a day or two after my first op to relieve the pain in my head & it was explained to me that it was a pinky, cloudy colour because of the blood from the SAH. I thought about explaining this to the doctor, but really, I'm just a little bit tired of being more informed than those paid to treat me......

The next step is an appointment with the neurologist that I met for 10 minutes who had my driving licence removed for 18 months for suspected epilepsy (eventually proved non epileptic). I don't think I'll be accepting that appointment. I think I have now had enough testing to confirm what I already believe - I had an SAH & didn't recover 100%. I'm STILL tired, my head STILL hurts & my body isn't as strong as it used to be & my balance is STILL messed up. As all these problems happened overnight, coincidentally the very same night as the SAH, I think I have my answer without being subjected to any more investigations involving exhausting day long trips to not be given a definitive answer :shocked:

Michelle x

Edited by goldfish.girl
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What does he think a lower motoneuron is? it originates in the brain stem and descends down the spine and directly stimulates the muscle. You can damage the neuron anywhere along it...from the cell body to the long axon that exits the spine, or on the neuromuscular junction. I used to drip drugs onto the cell bodies so that they wouldn't fire. I used to cut the brains of lampreys in different places to see if the signal could still descend. It can't by the way. I used to cut the notocord as well and guess what, after a period of time, axons in the lamprey regrow and make new connections. This is why the lamprey is used for studying spinal chord regeneration.

I didn't think they'd know what they were doing, but maybe something might have advanced since I've been out of touch. Medicine trails research, though. So I think I've got a few on them.

~Kris

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