• August 16, 2015 at 7:13 pm

      I have a high threshold of pain, but I think my next step in seeing if I have a flare up, is an E.N.G.The nerves are tested while electric stimulation is used. I had one once but had a crummy neurologist who did the test a week after I was discharged. Does anyone have any tips while I go through another one, other than relaxation, and visual calmness.

    • August 17, 2015 at 5:37 pm

      I believe you are referring to Electromyogram (EMG). However, it is a Nerve Conduction Velocity Study (NCS or NVS) that may be most beneficial in diagnosing CIDP/GBS.

      Conduction/velocity studies are tests that measure how well individual nerves can send an electrical signal from the spinal cord to the muscles. Nerve conduction studies are often used to help diagnose nerve disorders, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or Guillain-Barré syndrome.

      During a nerve conduction test, a health professional places a shock-emitting electrode directly over the nerve to be studied, and a recording electrode over the muscles supplied by that nerve. The shock-emitting electrode sends repeated, brief electrical pulses to the nerve, and the recording electrode records the time it takes for the muscle to contract in response to the electrical pulse.

      Diagnostic uses for nerve conduction studies include:
      • Detecting and evaluating damage to the peripheral nervous system, which includes all the nerves that lead away from the brain and spinal cord and the smaller nerves that branch out from those nerves.
      • Identifying the cause of abnormal sensations, such as numbness, tingling, or pain.

      The electrodes often penetrate the skin and can be briefly painful. Sometimes I had a little bleeding following being poked. If one is on blood thinners (Coumadin, etc) the technician needs to be made aware of it. Ask your doctor if you can take a pain reliever (Tylenol, etc) in advance of the study to minimize discomfort. Wear loose fitting clothing; you may be given a hospital gown to wear anyway. Since electrodes will be placed on your skin, make sure the surface is clean and free of lotions and oils that might interfere with results. Ice the area after the tests to help reduce any discomfort.

    • August 28, 2015 at 9:57 am

      I’ve only had one EMG, about 1 1/2 years after getting GBS. They inserted thin needles into my most damaged areas. Wasn’t too awful until they got to my face. That was the most uncomfortable. I can’t think of any way to improve the experience other than the ones you mentioned but it would be great if someone has found some other little ‘trick’ to make it easier.

      On the bright side, you have a starting point, something I didn’t have. They wouldn’t give me an ENG in the hospital because they thought it would be too painful, so the doctor who finally did it had nothing to compare the results to in order to judge my progress. Maybe a silver lining for you?

    • GH
      August 29, 2015 at 12:44 am

      I found the Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV) test to be difficult to tolerate, but the ElectroMyoGram (EMG) to be a snap.

    • August 29, 2015 at 7:37 pm

      I guess there is different ways of doing it but my NCV test did not include any skin penetration that I was aware of – just simple gel suction pads stuck in the appropriate places. The process was painless for the sensory nerve tests (zero response) and only a small jolt when testing the motor nerves (still working but slow). Not particularly uncomfortable at any stage.