The Amazing Body! & Nerve-path Testing

I've had problems with my right shoulder and arm this summer and decided to get it checked out.

I've had a lot of numbness, tingling, some clicking and some sore spots throughout my neck, shoulder, arm and into my thumb and pointer finger. It's more frequent now and occurs in multiple body/arm positions, so I went for help.

At the first clinic appointment we moved my arm in various ways looking for ideas. While it was numb most of the appointment there were no obvious answers.

Next I had a nerve-pathway testing appointment downtown. We did two tests, one with shocks and one with needles. After the nurse took my blood pressure and pulse she measured my arm temp--it was too cold for the test.

My blood pressure in my right (numb) arm was 95/56. My bp in my left arm was 100/68 and pulse was low mid 60s. We ran my right arm under water to warm it up for proper conduction.

For the nerve velocity test I had electrodes on my wrist and marks along my arm measuring distance. Then the doctor took a shocking device (!!!) and sent a mild shock along different parts of my arm. One of my nerves was deep and he kept turning up the signal ... ow. My right arm was jumping off the table like a frog in science class. But, it was good news, my nerves are firing as fast as a concert pianist or elite athlete, something like 50 meters a second, great!

Then we did the electromyography. I have a tattoo (the doctor thought my m-dot was a birthmark at first.) but needles make me tense, so I was worried about this part.
The needles were thin and most of the actions didn't hurt. Some of the pokes and contractions near and on my hand were painful, but overall OK.

I'm thankful for the opportunity to have tests done and look for answers. Two days later my arm is a little beat up and still numb, but I'm confident we'll figure something out.

My next appointment is a MRI (medicated) of my skull, neck, shoulder, arm and then an appointment with a sports medicine doctor.

Think fast! Scientists unlock nerve speed secret

How nerves work & more info on nerve conduction velocity test

Questions for You:
- Have you had an MRI or nerve testing?
- What's the coolest medical fact you know about the human body?

p.s. I'll have pictures and updates from my incredible trip to San Diego soon!


Kelli said...

The longest cell in the human body is the motor neuron that reaches from your spinal cord to your big toe (~4ft long)!!

Velma said...

Yes, I know this all to well. The good news is that you got it all done right away. I had to wait 4 months of pain (I have nerve damage in my sciatic nerve) before I got the MRI. This stuff can take time to heal but it does work out over time. Good luck!

Patricia said...

I had to have this done about 15 years ago when I damaged all three of the nerves in my right arm. I sprained it pushing my students on a merry-go-round (you know the kind that we loved as kids and that insurance companies made all of the schools and public parks take out?). Anyway, I only made it though the first test. The pain from the electrode test was so intense that the doctor said I would never make it through the needle part (I was silently weeping while they did the first part). I think he just could not stand being the torture guy. I am proud of you for being able to make it all of the way through the test! Ultimately they had to put me through physical therapy to get the swelling down over a month, then a cast for a month, and I lost about 20% of my strength in my right arm from that injury. It ended up fine, but kind of weird. I am a right hand dominant person with a stronger left hand/arm. It works okay though.

Melissa said...

I had numbness and tingling down both arms and bad headaches and neck pain. My MRI show a badly herniated disk at the C6 level. It's looking like I'll need surgery to fix it; nothing else has worked. I take it your claustrophobic and that's why you'll be medicated for the MRI? I didn't think it was too bad as long as I kept my eyes closed. I could feel it pulsing through my body though; I must have a high iron count. I haven't heard of anyone else feeling anything. Good luck Sara! I hope you heal soon!

Sara Cox Landolt said...

Kelli - I love body trivia!
Velma - :( I hope you are healing too.
Patricia - I did love the merry-go-round!
Melissa - thank you! Today is the day!