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Nerve Study - EMG Test?

I have read other postings and replies concerning nerve studies and especially EMG tests. My neurosurgeon wants me to have an upper body EMG test of my shoulders and arms. I am really looking forward to having the test done and hope to get as much helpful information as possible. People seem to suggest that there is nothing (for example: medications, supplements or pain treatments) that can interfere or cause an inaccurate result. I had two cervical ablations done last year and a large epidural cortisone injection last month. My pain management doctor has also prescribed large daily doses of Gabapentin, Propanalol, Flexeril, and Lidocaine patches. I also use cold packs to help with the pain. Some forum participants have suggested there is no pain management treatment or medications that will effect the test results and to just continue with the treatments and medications. While I have also read that EMG tests can be “subjective” and are not always accurate, **It seems to defy common sense that the ablations, epidural injections, and nerve and pain medication would not have any impact on the nerve study including the EMG? I know virtually every person’s situation is different, but could you please reply to this question and share your own experiences and insights with nerve testing? I want to do everything I can to make sure the tests result in useable data for my neurosurgeon. Thank you.



  • dilauroddilauro ConnecticutPosts: 12,303

    To get the only formal accurate medical answer  you need to contact the doctor who is going to do the EMG.

  • nutcase007nnutcase007 United StatesPosts: 937

    JR2010 - You ask very good questions.  In my three sets of arm EMGs, I first was interviewed by the neurologist performing the EMG.  During those interviews, we discussed current medications, past interventional nerve and spine procedures, which included all recent nerve blocks, epidurals, peripheral nerve surgeries, spine surgeries and any other recent surgeries. 

    Yes, there is some subjective part to an EMG (a lot of spine related tests and imaging have a subjective part).  Some preliminary diagnostic protocol recommend that EMGs be performed.  If you are still having questions about an EMG, please discuss your concerns either with the physician ordering the EMG or the doctor that is scheduled to perform the EMG.   

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