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Nerve Conduction Studies etc.

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by chlorocala, Jan 8, 2015.

  1. chlorocala

    chlorocala New Member


    At the risk of looking like I'm spamming this subforum, I wanted to start a seperate thread for this, partly because I didn't want it getting lost in my other threads, and partly because someone else might find it easier should they be looking.

    I'm just curious if any of you have had nerve conduction studies that have indicated a problem, and still gone on to recover?

    I ask because I had some conduction studies in 2011, said I had an ulnar entrapment, and one of my major symptoms is ulnar nerve pain, in fact my initial symptoms were ulnar related (although I also have median symptoms).

    I guess I'm struggling because it's a physical finding, and when I've search for conduction studies it seems people are all saying, MRI normal, Conduction Studies Normal.

    Sorry to keep posting along these lines, I'm just looking for some reassurance I guess! lol.
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Our pain may be physical, but what caused it? If an MRI or doctor can't find the cause, it very likely is psychological.
    It is TMS pain, and we have to work on discovering what caused it? Was it from repressed emotions maybe going back to childhood,
    or a perfectionist or "goodist" personality?

    If you "searched" for conduction studies, and did that in a Google search, you may have read about symptoms that make you
    think your pain is from that. I used to go to Doctor Google to "learn" more about a condition, but it often if not always misled me
    and I wound up worrying I had something I didn't really have.

    I wouldn't play doctor to myself. Instead I would play TMS healer.
  3. chlorocala

    chlorocala New Member

    Hi Walt,

    Thanks for taking the time to reply, that's kind of what I'm worried about though - my last set of conduction studies did show a problem, but when searching for conduction studies here on the forum, everyone's seemed to have come back OK.

    I just wondered if anyone else had been diagnosed with something during their conduction studies, but recovered anyway?

    I'm still working on the whole TMS thing, but I'm struggling with the fact that I have something on paper saying 'this is wrong', even though it hasn't improved despite dozens of physios and soft tissue workers!

    Hope that makes sense, and thanks again for replying.
  4. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi chlorocala, your best option would probably be to contact a TMS doctor on this. It looks like he is still listing his email address on his website, so he might be a good one to contact:

    He has seen many patients over the years and understands TMS very well.
  5. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Also, I forgot to mention that I just moved this thread to the General Discussion subforum. The reason why is that the subject of this thread is nerve conduction studies and whether people healed after them rather than being about your personal case. Since this is a general question, applicable to anyone with nerve conduction findings, it fits better in the general discussion subforum. The general forum is about general questions whereas the support forum is about people's particular cases. Sometimes the lines get blurry, though!

    No need to reply - just giving you a heads up. You can just click the like link under this post if you're on board. :)

    By the way, if you do contact a TMS doctor, please let us know what they say, so that anyone who finds this thread in our search engine will be able to learn from what you discover. That's how our community works!
  6. Alan Gordon LCSW

    Alan Gordon LCSW TMS Therapist

    Dr. Schechter says that a certain percentage of nerve conduction studies are false positives, there are other diagnostic criteria. You're probably not going to make much progress while you're still ambivalent about whether or not it's structural. Sometimes things are structural, sometimes the findings are incidental. Find a TMS doc, preferably one with a specialty in orthopedics like Dr. Schechter, and get try and get some clarity. You've been in a state of uncertainty for far too long.

    Laudisco, BrooklynGal and Forest like this.
  7. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Not quite sure what a "nerve conduction study" is but if it's an "EMG", I had a "frozen shoulder" many years ago (con-current with a CRAZY relationship break-up--what a coincidence). My doc sent me to the neurologist across the street who tested me with a novel device out of a black box that reminded me of what an electrician would use to test electric circuits. He dx'ed me with a "c6/c7 pinched nerve", told me to stop playing tennis for a month or he would be "seeing me for surgery!!!". He prescribed neck traction, I quit playing tennis fro two weeks, sat in a quiet corner for 30 minutes a day doing the traction thing, read a good book by Dan Millman "Warrior Athlete" to keep from being bored out of my mind, learned how to write left-handed, as mentioned in Dan's book to develop the other hemisphere of my mind.

    The "pinched nerve", that was probably TMS, went away because I was a good boy, and followed doctor's orders, almost. Is that a nerve conduction study? Subsequently did a couple of workshop retreats with Millman at an ashram in the Santa Cruz mountains. His book "Warrior Athlete" had a lot of good stuff in it. It's been re-titled to something else, guess "Warrior Athlete" was too violent sounding by modern standards--probably called something more like "Follow Your Muse" now.
    Forest likes this.
  8. chlorocala

    chlorocala New Member

    Thanks for all taking the time to reply, and Forest, Alan, thanks for the recommendations, I'm in the UK so unless I go SKYPE I'm limited to TMS practitioners over here, there aren't many!

    Having said that, I've contacted a psychotherapist near me who does TMS work (actually found them via an Osteopath I saw years ago) so I think I'm going to see them and discuss everything.

    Alan - I know exactly what you mean, I feel like I'm in limbo at the moment, a large part of me can see a clear case for TMS, and the more I consider how much anger/emotion I've been carrying, the more it seems a valid diagnosis, but there's still that doubt, and things like the positive result on the conduction studies haven't helped, even though mainstream medicine and a whole host of physiotherapists and soft tissue workers haven't had any impact on my symptoms!

    Tennis Tom - it sounds similar, the conduction studies are where they put pads on you arms/hands and then use those to test how the current carries along your nerves. It's reassuring to hear that your pinched nerve went away, as that was something else my doctor was talking about recently, and the Dan Millman book sounds interesting, I'm gonna look it up.

    Thanks again for your replies, it's amazing that there are so many people willing to help on this forum, I'll post back with any further developments!
  9. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, clorocala. Alan and Tom have given you great advice.
    You still hold some doubt that your symptoms are from TMS and not structural.
    I too hope you will find out for sure what it is and that it is not physical.
    Meanwhile, tell yourself totally 100 percent that it is TMS and then see the improvement.
    Please do let us all know how things are going. We all really do care and want you to heal.
    Tennis Tom likes this.
  10. BrooklynGal

    BrooklynGal Peer Supporter


    I read your post this morning and thoroughly freaked myself out. I too have a positive nerve conduction test moderate on the two nerves in my right leg and mild in the two nerves on my left leg. Though I had this test done in September and my symptoms have worsened tremendously. Some good news and some bad(ish) news. I called my TMS Dr. who very confidently diagnosed me with TMS earlier this month. I asked him about the positive nerve conduction test and told him that was the ONLY thing holding me back from believing my diagnosis is 100% TMS. He calmed my nerves (pun intended) and told me that those tests mean nothing. That yes, the nerves are irritated/damaged now but as soon as you figure out your repressed emotions and get oxygen back into the area, all will go back to normal. In my fear of having horrible permanent nerve damage, I have asked many Dr's and health practitioners if a positive test means permanent nerve damage, most said no. That they've seen people recover from this kind of stuff many times before. A couple did say that it was irreversible and the longer it stays the more chance it will be permanent (though I would like to point out that one of the Drs is chiropractor who I think plays into patient's fears). The bad(ish) news is that when I was searching for this thread to respond to your question, I stumbled upon a comment by Dr. Schubiner that said something along the lines of... once your Dr. has ruled out physical nerve damage... - and that... not all TMS Drs agree on what symptoms are TMS - that kind of freaked me out again. I actually just e-mailed Dr. Schubiner directly to see if I could get his thoughts on a positive nerve conduction test and it being TMS. Since there are two of us wondering, I thought I'd give it a shot.

    On another note, I did get tingling in my left arm and hand last week for the first time ever. I told the TMS Dr in the same conversation and he was ecstatic, exclaiming "Don't you see how good it is that your symptoms are moving around!". Well, I still have all the nerve stuff in my legs and feet. I wasn't happy I added another quadrant, but since he's happy, I guess it means it's a good thing.

    Anyway, my Dr. is very confident that the nerve conduction studies don't mean anything or anything permanent, but I will let you know as soon as I hear back from Dr. Schubiner. I certainly hope he corroborates my Dr.s analysis. And also, I think our bodies picked nerve damage because quite frankly, that's the scariest thing it could be (for me anyway).

    Let's both stay focused on it being TMS until we hear otherwise. But yes, I still do have a doubt and hope I'm not being entirely irresponsible by not treating my nerve issues in a purely physical capacity e.g. epidural. I'm fighting my fear every minute of every day. Sending you good vibes. I need some too.
  11. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle


    This is Dr Sopher's contact and it was my experience with him that it did not matter where you were.

    I was diagnosed with "nerve entrapment" using a specific Sensory Pressure Device (not running electricity through). But right before the "nerve release" surgery, the surgeon's assistant said "you know why the nerve is dying, don't you? It is lack of blood supply." This rang a huge Sarno bell in my head, and actually, along with Dr. Sopher's TMS diagnosis for me, helped confirm in my own mind that 'even if my nerve does lack oxygen now, I can fix that without surgery."

    My story is that two months later I was ski mountaineering with a backpack, instead of visiting doctors on crutches.

    When the Docs tell you that your nerves are dying if you don't "fix them" it is pretty upsetting. I wish you clarity, and highly recommend Dr. Sopher.

    Lavender and Dahlia like this.
  12. BrooklynGal

    BrooklynGal Peer Supporter

    Hi Andy,

    Thanks for your reply. I just wrote Dr. Sopher an e-mail in regards to this question. Though I really like and trust my Dr. I do feel like I need that 2nd opinion in regards to a positive nerve conductor test. I actually feel in a much better place mentally today than yesterday. I saw my TMS therapist and talked to my TMS Dr on the phone and both made me feel even more confident in my diagnosis. There's just that little underlying doubt now, but I'm curious and anxious to hear Dr. Sopher's opinion.

    "When the Docs tell you that your nerves are dying if you don't 'fix them' it is pretty upsetting." - YES! This is the most upsetting. And what I don't understand is (and what I don't want to google about is) what that means. Does it mean paralysis? Does it mean constant tingles that will never go away? Or if it dies, does that just mean it's fine and you just don't feel it anymore? I don't really want to know the answer, but that unknown answer is where the remainder of my fear lies. An add on to that would be, how long do I have before any of the above happens? Weeks, months, years?

    I really appreciate your response, Andy. I'm sure being on the other side is incredible and I can't wait until I'm there too. Yesterday was a turning point for me. It was filled with some of my lowest lows but because of those lows, I forced myself to search for answers and I found most of them - last night I actually enjoyed going out with a friend for the first time in a week (when my brain when to extremely dark places).

    The support on this forum just in the past day has been incredible too.

    I thank everyone who's responded and await a response from Dr. Sopher.
  13. Laudisco

    Laudisco Well known member

    I found this thread quite interesting, as I am going to see a neurologist and I suspect they will do a nerve conduction study. They are primarily attempting to test for Multiple Sclerosis. I think this is extremely unlikely, but I guess it's worth ruling it out so I feel more confident about my TMS diagnosis.
  14. chlorocala

    chlorocala New Member

    Hi BrooklynGal,

    I'm sorry to hear you're going through this, I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

    Totally know where you're coming from - but it does sound like you're managing well with the TMS diagnosis, which is my real stumbling block at the moment.

    It's the hardest thing to shake that nagging feeling that there's something physical wrong but it definitely sounds like you're well on the way and getting some good professional help, and the forums here are amazing.

    I think it's quite natural to look for people who have your exact circumstances, so I found myself looking for people with conduction studies that showed issues, who then went on to recover, and got myself in a real mess when I didn't find what I needed to hear.

    Looking outside here for answers (googling etc) is sure to feed your fear.

    One thing to consider there is that unlike this forum, you rarely hear back from people who went on to recover from the symptoms you're looking at, because in most cases they're off living life and not posting back. This forum (and TMS posts elsewhere) is great because there are a lot of recovered people taking the time to post their experiences and help people who are continuing to suffer.

    I'm currently waiting for another set of conduction studies, which is scaring me silly, but alongside that I've been trying as hard as I can to think about repressed emotions, and have started seeing a TMS therapist (though not a doctor) for help with that.

    I definitely notice that my pain seems less on the days where I force myself to think emotionally, and tell myself there's nothing wrong, even though it's a real battle for me at the moment, but even if my pain was 50% TMS I'd be happy!

    I can totally see the case for TMS, and I have plenty of repressed stuff to deal with, the more I think about it, the more I become aware of.

    Hopefully the TMS therapist will help me deal with some of that repressed stuff, which was something else I struggled with, being aware of it is only having a minor effect, and some of it's to do with current situations, so it's proving hard to resolve!

    Do keep us posted with you progress, but it sounds like you're off to a great start already!

    Hope all goes well with your Conduction Studies Laudisco, let us know how you get on.
  15. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    It is possible, and perhaps likely to find yourself on the "other side." Over here, looking back, it was a scary nightmare that the medical industry and my mind put me through. Good luck.
  16. Barb M.

    Barb M. Peer Supporter

    I just got back from the neurologist and had EMG/nerve conduction tests on both arms/hands. He diagnosed bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome and said the surgery is easy. I have symptoms all up my arms and he said pain is frequently referred from CTS. I also tested positive on a vascular thoracic outlet ultrasound on Thursday, but this neurologist didn't recommend surgery for that, stating bad outcomes. I have been down this path before where a confident, smart doctor tells you surgery will take care of your symptoms (had cervical fusion that didn't work and this is the same problem I'm dealing with 8-9 years later--pain in arms, hands, etc.) so I'm not sure what to do. It's so hard when you have an obviously very smart neurologist telling you this is what you should do and it will help. I will try to contact one of the TMS docs via email like someone else suggested.
  17. Barb M.

    Barb M. Peer Supporter

    P.S. I'm so frustrated I would just assume never have to type or use a computer again! Or see another medical professional.
  18. honeybear424

    honeybear424 Well known member


    Carpel tunnel syndrome is not my main symptom, though I did have that manifestation for a while many years ago, but my deceased father had surgery for CTS several years before he passed away. He never even used a computer or typewriter and wasn't doing anything repetitively. Since discovering TMS and as I reflect on his life, I see he had been suffering from TMS for most of his life. He had a history of anxiety and panic attacks, ulcers, frequent canker sores, carpel tunnel syndrome, and finally cancer.

    If I were you, I would most definitely give this TMS stuff a try before letting any doctor pull out his knife. Remember, Dr. Sarno clearly states in his books that CTS is a TMS manifestation. If you fit the TMS personality, what do you have to lose?
    Ellen and Barb M. like this.
  19. Mquest

    Mquest Peer Supporter

    Im curious to know what doctors have said about a positive emg. If TMS can cause that. Did anyone ever hear back from a TMS doctor about this?
  20. ezer

    ezer Well known member

    I had a nerve conduction study. Yes it was positive and yes it was showing a problem on the painful side. My problem was TMS though.

    It is easy to explain even with TMS. You unconsciously contract your muscles around a painful area. It is a defense mechanism. By doing that you indeed squeeze the nerves and thus affect nerve conduction.
    Pia likes this.

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