Patient Comments: Electromyogram - Experience

Please describe your experience receiving an electromyogram.

Comment from: Pete, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: November 20

I was afraid this was going to be a painful test, but as medical procedures go I found it pretty easy. It helped, I think, that I know the neurologist well and we were having a pleasant conversation throughout the test. A nerve velocity study was done over my entire right side, with about 20 tests done. The resident helping warned I might find them unpleasant due to heavy musculature on my arms. A first I found the electric shocks unpleasant - joking that it reminded me of touching an electric fence, but after I got use to the shocks and realized they weren't doing any harm, I found them amusing and not painful at all. I think the pain is more a perception that something is strange rather than a real pain. The EMG needle test was done only on my leg and buttocks. I couldn't even feel the needles, and only a mild cramping when they had to move the needles about. Again, really not unpleasant as medical tests go.

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Comment from: ThanxDocGreen, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: May 09

Just had both tests done today on my right arm and hand. The tests do not cause any pain, other than the prick of a needle the same size as an acupuncture needle. I've had numbness in the forearm, my pointer finger, and my middle finger. My pain was excruciating for two weeks prior to being put on a steroid treatment. The cycle of steroids ended today, six day cycle, the tests were done this morning. Now I know there isn't any permanent damage and it can be treated.

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Comment from: Liz Wolf, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 04

Had both tests done today. They did the electro shocks in my hands very lightly, but along my upper arms it was painful. The needles did not hurt going in at all, just a little twinge, but after I left I did feel like I had received vaccinations all over my arms and hands. It was worse the first two hours afterwards than during. My suggestion is to bring along a Mortin to take right after the test if you are sensitive to pain.

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Comment from: Just, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 22

I've had two electromyogram done for neuropathy in my legs. Both tests were from the waist down to the bottom of my feet and it was the most painful, horrible experience of my lifetime. Over 100 needle-pricks with each test. It's equivalent to having a nerve in your tooth exposed to air (if you've ever had one of those), only now there's a doctor poking needles into that nerve too! By the time they got to the 20th needle, I was in tears. It was so painful, and was never so relieved to hear the words "we're done."

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Comment from: 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: March 07

If you have herniated disc with spinal stenosis, AVOID THIS TEST. I've learned my lesson and now it's too late. I have back pain over the years and with help of exercise, therapy and medication I'm still able to function close to normal. My MRI shows a 9mm disk bulge which is impinging my nerve root. I have back pain when I'm standing and sitting but it's tolerable. Now 4 days after the test, my back pain became worse. Once I start sitting, my pain flares up right away and even with pain medication. It wasn't like this before. I can no longer stay sitting even for a very brief period. This is one of the worst thing that happened to me. I'm contacting my Dr. Tomorrow Monday to let him know my situation.

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Comment from: niffer222, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 22

I had this test done before my 3 level ACDF to determine neuropathy in my upper extremities and now tomorrow, I will again be subjected to this TORMENTING test due to ruptures in the l3-s1 area of my lumbar spine. I swore to myself I would never willingly take this test again and I have no choice if I want to undergo a second fusion for my lumbar spine. I think this is a hideous test that is not just unpleasant, but equivalent to human torture for me. I am already in pain and I will be medicated but I can tell you, I know it still will hurt.

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Comment from: DF1746, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: April 01

I had this electromyogram test today and it was not that bad. It felt like a rubber band snap, not painful at all. The needle part I did not feel, easy test, honest.

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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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