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Sciatica? EMG?
#156836 09/23/09 07:45 PM
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Hi, all. I have a question about sciatica and EMG testing.

I haven't been posting much lately because I haven't been able to sit for very long in my computer chair. My back and leg pain (which I have been managing fairly well the past 8 years or so) has flared up on me again.

So I went to the orthopedist today (the same one that I saw in April I said that I had ischial bursitis). He believes that I have AS. He ordered a back xray. He said that my SI joints are still open, but I have a little arthritis there.

But what he is really concerned about is my leg pain. So he orderd an MRI and an EMG. I don't mind the MRI, but I have heard that an EMG is really painful. He says he needs to do it to see if I have a pinched nerve. I guess trying to rule sciatica in or out.

Does an EMG hurt? They are trying to tell me it is just 'discomfort'. I'm having trouble believing them.

Does anyone have sciatica? If so, how was it diagnosed and treated?

Thanks!

Brenda


Brenda

undifferentiated spondyloarthropy, HLA-B27+, iritis, Vit D3: 6000 IU/day, trochanter bursitis, Joint Hypermobility Syndrome, migraines, SI joint dysfunction/hypermobility, DDD L4/L5 and L3/L4, straightening of cervical spine, impaired glucose tolerance, sleep apnea.
Re: Sciatica? EMG?
poodlegirl #156839 09/23/09 07:52 PM
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I had an EMG. It caused discomfort that was fleeting - several rounds of it. I would not call it painful, let alone "really painful." It's a very good diagnostic tool. Pain sensation is all relative, but the pain/discomfort from an EMG is short lived and doesn't linger after the test.

I hope they can get to the bottom of things, Brenda!


Jen, 42, happy partner of James and Moma to Evan, 14, & Lucy, 12.5 (Crohn's dx @ age 3; on Remicade since April 2010.) I take piroxicam, Flexeril, & Nucynta ER nightly. 3 anti-TNFs didn't pan out for me.

"Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance." -- Hippocrates
Re: Sciatica? EMG?
poodlegirl #156842 09/23/09 08:21 PM
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Hi Brenda,

I've had three EMGs, they're uncomfortable but not painful. Trust me, with what we go through each day, an EMG is nothing.

My sciatica used to act up all the time, it's been quiet lately. Remicade? Could be.

Good luck with your tests.

Re: Sciatica? EMG?
seven86 #156853 09/23/09 09:55 PM
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i don't currently have sciatica, but have had it once in the past. when i would move / walk it shot pain straight down my leg from the butt to the foot - but really only one side. i believe my doc put me on a steroid for a couple of weeks. learned later a chiropractor could have helped - though if you do have AS chiro is probably not the way to go.

my 2cents.


Life is now different.
male, 33, diagnosed May '09
tried Celebrex, Oxaprozin (Daypro), and Meloxicam (mobic). Currently on Humira.
Re: Sciatica? EMG?
AS2009 #157012 09/25/09 01:56 AM
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Thanks, guys! It really does help hearing from people who have had the test (and even multiple times!). I feel braver about it now. I am going to call in the morning to schedule it.

I kind doubt that I actually have a pinched nerve, but I guess this will help them see if I do or if the problem is something else. My pain doesn't radiate down the leg. I have pain in the left buttock and along the left side of the part of the spine below my waist. And I have leg pain. But they are not connected. They are separate and don't always happen at the same time. And mine is not a shooting pain. It feels like a really strong pressure/ache. At it's worst 11 years ago, it felt like a torn muscle. Apparently spasms can feel like that.

The only way I have gotten relief in the past is through soft tissue work (by a chiropractor. but no adjustments). I have been told in the past that this pain is caused by a hypermobile SI joint. So we will see if the orthopedist agrees or finds something else.

Brenda


Brenda

undifferentiated spondyloarthropy, HLA-B27+, iritis, Vit D3: 6000 IU/day, trochanter bursitis, Joint Hypermobility Syndrome, migraines, SI joint dysfunction/hypermobility, DDD L4/L5 and L3/L4, straightening of cervical spine, impaired glucose tolerance, sleep apnea.
Re: Sciatica? EMG?
poodlegirl #157014 09/25/09 02:07 AM
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I've had an EMG on my hands and wrists, it was a bit uncomfortable, but not painful
one of the zaps made my arm jump off the table and I burst out laughing

Re: Sciatica? EMG?
winelover #157031 09/25/09 03:55 AM
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Good story, winelover! That makes me feel a lot more lighthearted about the whole thing!

Brenda


Brenda

undifferentiated spondyloarthropy, HLA-B27+, iritis, Vit D3: 6000 IU/day, trochanter bursitis, Joint Hypermobility Syndrome, migraines, SI joint dysfunction/hypermobility, DDD L4/L5 and L3/L4, straightening of cervical spine, impaired glucose tolerance, sleep apnea.
Re: Sciatica? EMG?
poodlegirl #157134 09/25/09 08:32 PM
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I've had an EMG for sciatica, and it was uncomfortable, but not painful to the point of hurting. It takes about 20 minutes. They can tell if the nerves are damaged and if you've lost function in the nerve from the test. It really tells a lot, and is worthwhile doing. Don't be afraid of the test--it really isn't all that bad. Cortisone shots are a lot worse!


Lisa K.
"Attitude is everything"
Re: Sciatica? EMG?
Merlin #157144 09/25/09 11:16 PM
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Thanks for the info and encouragement, Merlin. It is good to know that it is nothing like a cortisone injection. That was a good comparison to give me. I can make it through the cortisone shots; it is good to know that the EMG will be much easier.

I am also encouraged that you and Jen mention what a good diagnostic test it is.

I guess I got a bad feeling about EMG's from a coworker years ago. I don't know why she had a bad experience, but it left me with the idea that it was a hideously painful procedure. I'm so glad that all of you have shared your experiences. I feel much better about doing it now. I am scheduled for next Tuesday.

Brenda


Brenda

undifferentiated spondyloarthropy, HLA-B27+, iritis, Vit D3: 6000 IU/day, trochanter bursitis, Joint Hypermobility Syndrome, migraines, SI joint dysfunction/hypermobility, DDD L4/L5 and L3/L4, straightening of cervical spine, impaired glucose tolerance, sleep apnea.
Re: Sciatica? EMG?
poodlegirl #157147 09/26/09 01:18 AM
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Brenda,

I recently had an EMG myself. I was also scared to death after hearing so many horror stories. The fear is so much worse than the actual test. There will be little stings or twinges, but nothing compared to the pain we feel most days. I'd take the EMG on a regular basis compared to living with AS! The EMG is really a good diagnostic tool and pinpointed my source of pain (along with an abnormal MRI) and nerve impingement.

Let us know how it goes for you. I'm sure you'll be glad when its done and you realize it wasn't nearly as bad as you feared.

You sound just like I did before mine. It was also the wonderful people on this site that reassured me and as always, they didn't steer me wrong!

Ann

Last edited by aslee9; 09/26/09 01:18 AM.

Ann
HLAB27+
62 years old flexeril, tramadol, tramadol er, percocet, lidoderm patch, flector patch, voltaren gel + other meds for other conditions + lots of vitamins

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