Patient Comments: EMG - Pain

Question:

Was your EMG painful? What diagnosis did you receive, and how was it treated? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Pam, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 03

I have had four kids and none of them caused me the type of pain the EMG (electromyogram) did. I just wish someone had been more truthful when I was told there was very little pain. I never want to go through that type of test again. There has to be a better less painful way of determining an injury or nerve damage. I will have to be out cold if it is ever determined I need another one.

Comment from: chris, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: June 22

My neurologist suspected CIDP (chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy) or possibly POEMS (polyneuropathy, organomegaly, endocrinopathy, monoclonal protein, skin changes) syndrome due to some abnormal thyroid tests and skin manifestations accompanied by horrific neuropathic pain that started on my neck. It feels like I am in an oven. It just burns 24/7. But the doctor is more concerned with the loss of feeling and weakness in the fingers and toes (which really doesn't bother me that much). Anyway, we did an EMG (electromyogram) test in his office. I was not prepared for any tests, let alone one where electric shocks were sent through my body. Other than having an abscessed tooth pulled without novocaine as a child, this was the most painful experience I've ever had. It was even worse than the 24/7 neuropathy. After five minutes I had to have it stopped and walked out of the office. Never again! There has to be a better way to diagnose neurological disorders. Sorry, the reviews that it is not bad, or hardly felt a thing are from people who have lost so much feeling that they don't mind being shocked. It's a horrible test, period.

Comment from: Danielle, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 20

I had an electromyogram (EMG) and nerve conduction velocity (NCV) study done today to evaluate muscle weakness in both of my legs. I was terrified after reading comments online, but I found it to be not painful at all. The shocks were the worst part, but they really were not bad. It felt like a static electricity shock. The needles were so thin that I almost didn't feel them. I had read that some people are in pain after the fact too, but so far I feel fine. I have definitely had worse medical procedures in my life. I did take a Xanax prior to going in, so that probably helped somewhat.

Comment from: Bethiepoo2, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 16

I had my electromyogram (EMG) many years ago, and it was very painful as I remember. I was diagnosed with cervical and lumbar radiculopathy, peripheral neuropathy and fibromyalgia so it was worth it to get the test done. Today I have end-stage neuropathy with allodynia. I would probably not ever want to go through this again, doubt I could bear the pain as I am currently. Yes, it is painful, be prepared.

Comment from: Constad, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: July 20

I had complete electromyogram (EMG). I was afraid after reading negative responses, it was of so little discomfort, I would not hesitate if had to have it again.

Comment from: SCARED NANA, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 05

I had and electromyogram (EMG) about 3 years ago and swore I would never go thru one again. I am now newly diagnosed with a brain aneurysm and am facing an EEG and another EMG, ugh! I can't do this! I don't know why the doctor needs an EMG; I am confused!

Comment from: Rantin Ricky, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: June 15

I just had my 2nd electromyogram (EMG). I am 67 year male with low pain tolerance. No problem! Pain was 4/10. Anxiety, apprehension and fear were much worse after reading how bad it could be. Not my experience at all.

Comment from: Sharon, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 26

Electromyogram (EMG) was the worst pain I have ever felt in my life. He had to stop after he did both my legs and I was crying my eyes out. I have got to go back in two week to have my arms, neck and face done and I am dreading it, but I need answers and I won't get them if the test isn't completed.

Comment from: Matt, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: December 21

I had an electromyogram (EMG) on both arms and legs today followed by the needle portion/nerve conduction velocity (NCV). The needle portion was not bad and felt like bee stings. I was not prepared for the EMG pain, it seems like each arm got around 50 shocks, with some back to back, and then several (10 zaps, back to back continuous). I felt exhausted after having it performed all over my body. I would compare it to touching an electric fence each time but when performed over all limbs is an exhausting experience. I would rate an 8 out of 10 on pain scale. Apparently the discomfort level varies from patient to patient and didn't bother some, but for other individuals like me it was not pleasant. It took 2 hours to perform EMG and an hour for NCV test for legs and arms.

Comment from: Bill, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: May 08

I had electromyogram (EMG) performed in my left thigh which was already in pain. It's probably the worst pain I've had to endure. I was limping before I went in but by the time I got I couldn't get out of the car. I just hope I haven't got to have one again.

Comment from: Tim, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: April 23

I just had an electromyogram (EMG) done today. It hurt so much I had to wave the white flag and tell her I can't take anymore.

FDA Logo

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.