Patient Comments: Electromyogram - Experience

Please describe your experience receiving an electromyogram.

Comment from: Ouch, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 03

I first had electromyogram on my legs about ten years ago. It was not pleasant, but bearable. Then I had the test on my legs a few years back where a new level of pain was introduced; the twisting needle. Today I had huge electrical shocks into my poor hands and arms. I thought, what is this, medicine or torture! I happen to have extra reactive reflexes. The first shock, I jumped. The second shock, third, fourth, etc., I jumped, as did my whole body. It was so shocking, physically and emotionally to receive a strong electrical shock. Then eventually a much lower frequency, but many, many more shocks. Then needles introduced into my muscles, and then, sadistically, twisted and twisted. One shock went down my arm. I was so stressed out at this point, ready to cry, and so weary of the pain. Then my doctor told me he was going to put a needle into a very sensitive area. Oh, great. He sprayed it with an ultra-cold spray to numb it up. He told me to say stop when I couldn't stand it. Believe me, I stood it because I wanted the numbing relief. Then the stress and pain got to me and I felt nauseated and reported it. The doctor looked a bit worried and stopped the test. Jeez, after all that, ok, I'm sorry, but after all that torture. It's really not this bad for most people, just for me. So, it may not be bad for you. And my first two tests were not as bad.

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Comment from: Sharmistha Gupta, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 01

Today I was suggested NCV (nerve conduction velocity) and EMG (electromyogram) test as I have numbness in my legs when I am standing. The electric shots were hurting as electric waves were running in my nerves. I was shaking after the test, probably my blood pressure went a bit low. After two hours when I settled I was taken through ESG (electrosomatography) and thin needles were pricked all over my leg and lower back which was very painful as I had to stretch my muscles and needle pain was hurting my muscles. Overall pain experience was 9 out of 10.

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Comment from: Russ B., 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: July 21

I fell 6 ft. and dislocated my shoulder. After 7 weeks I am still having intense pain. My doctor sent me to have an electromyogram (EMG). I later told my wife that instead of waterboarding terrorists they should torture them with EMGs. It was the worst medical procedure I've ever endured. I was shocked at least 30 times and yelled out in pain several times. When he said he was done with that I was so relieved until he pulled out the needle and poked me at least 20 times starting in the palm of my hand, up my arm, chest, back, neck left and right shoulder. Seriously bad stuff.

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Comment from: Rita, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: May 01

I had the EMG test done about 2 months ago. I gave birth 9 times and never had pain like this test. I was not told anything about it beforehand. But as the test went on in my leg, the shocks got worse. I could tolerate it until he went to my spine. It was as if someone stuck a knife in my back. I never had back trouble, but now have a backache all the time. They didn't find out why my foot goes numb! I would never ever get another EMG. I almost wish I could sue someone for the misery I now have. It's much worse than a numb foot!

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Comment from: MARIE, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 08

I recently had an electromyogram done. And I have to agree it is very painful. It was painful enough to make me cry. The doctor even gave me a shot for pain. All this pain to tell me I have a lot of nerve damage and a pinched nerve that stemmed from by back surgery in January. Get this, my neurosurgeon can't find where the pinched nerve is. So I have been in real bad pain since then.

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Comment from: Patti, Female (Patient) Published: March 18

I had electromyogram done today, 3/14/15, without knowing what to expect. After the 3rd surge of electricity, I made her stop the test. The pain was horrific and felt like I was being Tasered. The electrical current was so strong, I felt like I was going to be jolted right off the table, like when they are using a cardiac defibrillator. I asked her to turn down the voltage to a more tolerable level and she said she couldn't, so I made her stop. I certainly wouldn't do this test again.

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Comment from: fgc, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 10

I have had three electromyograms and nerve conduction studies and read many of the horror stories online but honestly I can't understand how the experience I had could be even possibly the same test as other people's experiences. It was really nothing at all. I wouldn't hesitate at all to have one tomorrow morning or have any anxiety about it. I wonder if it makes a difference that all of mine were administered by neurologists. It isn't the best way to spend time and it is fairly painful and intense but the shocks to me were so brief and only a second or two per one. By the time my brain went ouch, the shock was over. Also at any point they can stop which obviously isn't great because you want conclusive test results but do not fear that you cannot bow out or finish the test early if the pain is too unbearable for you.

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Electromyogram - Diagnosis Question: Have you received an electromyogram? Did it diagnose your condition, and if so, what was causing your muscle weakness?

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