Patient Comments: Electromyogram - Experience

Please describe your experience receiving an electromyogram.

Comment from: painter33, Male (Patient) Published: February 17

I had a nerve conductivity test on both legs prior to a lumbar spine fusion and actually felt very little (I had no numbness before or after the test). I was expecting full, break-the-skin needles to be placed at various locations, but the small electrical charges were inconsequential. This electromyogram test was so benign that I'd do it at the drop of a hat. Electronic muscle stimulation, used in physical therapy, operates much the same way, only fires muscle into action with greater electrical force. Maybe it might help to think when a nerve is stimulated in one place, it can be felt in another place; that's interesting. If you're briefly occupied with scientific curiosity, you might be less likely to focus on the test as it is occurring.

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Comment from: VetinPain, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: February 17

I went for an electromyogram test in the arm, shoulder and neck. I was told to lie on the table, no explanation what was about to happen. Nothing. She asked me a few questions then started drawing on my wrist. Then I felt a little pain then more, then I almost jumped off the table. I explained to her that it hurt really badly and asked how many times she was going to do this to me. She said most people don't feel anything! She worked up my arm and it was very painful. I told her I had problems with needles and she told me next would be just a little acupressure and it wouldn't hurt at all. She stuck the needle into my bicep I screamed out and she told me to bend my arm but my muscle was frozen. She yelled relax! She withdrew the needle and the pain was still going on and I couldn't bend my arm and I was bleeding. She said loudly, you are done! As the pain was subsiding I asked her what that was. She said she couldn't finish the test. I asked her what was the matter with me and she said I was hyper pain sensitive.

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Comment from: Bucky, Male (Patient) Published: January 09

I had an EMG (electromyogram) today January 7, 2015. I worried myself sick about it but was a non-event. On a scale of 1 to 10 with a 10 being pure torture, it was a 1. The test was only in my arms but I can't imagine that it would be much different in my lower body.

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Comment from: diane880, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 02

I had an electromyogram (EMG) study last month on one arm and one leg. After reading about the experiences of others on this board, I was extremely nervous. I'm happy to say that my experience wasn't bad at all. The needle prick itself did not hurt at all, however, when the needle went into the muscle, it felt like a mild muscle cramp. Yes, I could feel it 'swirl around the nerve', but it truly wasn't that painful (hard to believe, but true!). I had many, many sites that needed to be tested, and there were only a couple that I could say were painful - but also very tolerable. I'm sure different people have varying experiences, and I feel badly for the people who had horrible ones, but I also feel fortunate that mine wasn't so bad.

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Comment from: Westside, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 30

I had an electromyogram (EMG) of my arm this morning. I was pretty nervous after reading personal experiences on different sites. It went better than I expected. Electrical shocks were annoying, but the technician was great and we chatted through the entire procedure. The needle portion was a little more unpleasant, but again I was able to carry on a conversation with only a few pauses as we got down closer to the smaller muscles near the hand. I popped Tylenol as soon as the procedure was over and continued throughout the day because I could feel it starting to get sore. The soreness was distracting, but not unbearable.

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Comment from: JodyH1122, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: October 30

I had an electromyogram (EMG) done a few days ago due to specialists not being able to figure out what is wrong with my shins. They may have misdiagnosed me months ago when they said it was shin splints and this was the only test left I can do. Let me tell you, they did not inform me of the amount of pain I would be in. I was told I could not take any pain medication beforehand due to it possibly causing wrong readings on the test. The electrodes part nearly had me crying, the needles going into my muscles did make me cry. There is one very large dark bruise where one was inserted and my left leg hurts severely when moved in a certain position. I am not happy with the neurologist or the orthopedic specialist right now!

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Comment from: Ladyjenie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 14

Since I have Medicare, my doctor's office had to do my electromyogram (EMG) on two different days so I did arms on day 1 and legs on day 2. I do not have results yet but I feel I have some nerve damage in both areas as neither was significantly painful. The arms were less painful than legs and what hurt most was the tender area behind the knees, I got 2 to 3 little jolts but nothing to make me yell or cry. No creams can be used on the area being tested.

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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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