Patient Comments: Electromyogram - Experience

Question:

Please describe your experience receiving an electromyogram. Submit Your Comment

Comment from: LiftThis, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: November 15

I've read so many gruesome accounts of the electromyogram (EMG) test that I put it off for months. Well, I finally had the test today and it is not horrible at all. I realize that everyone has different pain thresholds, but the test is a piece of cake. Teeth cleanings hurt more than the EMG! If you're scheduled to have one, you have nothing, I repeat, nothing to worry about.

Comment from: Sweet Pea, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 23

Electromyogram was the most painful test I have ever had. The insertion of the needle was easy. However, once the electric current was turned on, the pain was awful especially when I was told to move my leg or foot. I was so happy when it was over. Unfortunately, the pain continued. It felt like my leg was heavy and I had a very deep ache. The pain finally lessened after 2 days. Never again.

Comment from: Thomas, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: October 16

I had an electromyogram today and found it a very unpleasant experience. The electrical jolts were unpleasant but not painful. The needles they stuck into the sides of my hand, however, were terrible. They were fine going in, but when they started moving them around it got very painful.

Comment from: KateyB, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 27

I couldn't believe all these comments I read, they really scared me! I went and had a nerve test and electromyogram done today on both arms. Nothing to be scared about! The needle they use is so tiny, and the nerve test isn't bad at all. It is no worse than hitting your funny bone lightly. No pain after, no bruising, no swelling. And I am a wuss! So please don't be scared. As long as you go to someone good, you'll be fine! There are way worse tests out there. This is the least to be worried about!

Comment from: PPSpatient, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 27

I had the nerve conduction velocity (NCV) which I believe is the painful test everyone is commenting about since they are using electrical current to measure the response of your nerves. It was a test my doctor warned me would hurt but was needed to confirm post-polio syndrome especially affecting my legs. Significant nerve damage was found and the test, which at times made me want to cry, was the most uncomfortable test I have ever had. At one time, I told the technician who was consistently increasing the voltage to try and get a response in one place, to stop or I was going to get up and leave. She moved on to the next place. But it wasn't just the electromyogram, it was the NCV.

Comment from: Jim D, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: September 26

I had an electromyogram yesterday, the needle pain was minimal, and the electrical impulse pain was only moderate. I would rate the discomfort total to about 3 on 10. Anxiety before test was high. I recommend not worrying prior to test, it's not very painful.

Comment from: Zokyah, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: September 19

I had an electromyogram the day after I had a lumbar puncture (LP), and the first thing I thought afterwards was that I'd rather go through another LP than having to suffer another hour of being shocked again and again. They didn't use a needle, but it still hurt awfully, and the most difficult thing is the length of the experience. They kept increasing the voltage because they couldn't quite read the results. The doctors were rather nice, but they couldn't help hurting me, all that to confirm a diagnosis that was kind of already certain. I really hope I never have to do that again.

Comment from: Hurting, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: August 08

My electromyogram was a horrible experience. Placing the needles was no problem but some of the test was like connecting me to an electric fence and then turning on the power. I hope to never go through it again. At one point the shock made my reflexes in my body jump all over. The person doing the test said, 'Look, he looks like a chicken flapping his wings,' and then he did that test 3 more times. I cannot tell you how bad that hurt. I have tendinitis in my right shoulder that has not bothered me for a long time now. After taking this test it has been hurting now for over a week. I am also noticing a large floater in my eye that I did not notice before. I will not take this test again. I am questioning the doctor's office that gave me the test and wondering if it was really necessary.

Comment from: taurusmgt, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 18

I had 30 needles in my legs during my electromyogram and only felt the 1 behind my right knee. The rest I didn't feel at all.

Comment from: fibrogirl1, 45-54 (Patient) Published: July 10

I just got my electromyogram today. That hurts! I am not a foul word speaker, but it hurts. It was not 'uncomfortable', it hurt. I have a high tolerance for pain and I cried the entire second half and uncontrollably for 2 hours after I left. My doctor was rude, insulting and outright demeaning. And I do fill out the surveys. And I will fill out the survey for this visit.

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Comment from: lucy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 06

I had an electromyogram done a week ago. It is uncomfortable but not painful. By cooperating the test will be much shorter. Mine took less than 1 hour. Hope this is helpful to anyone who is about to have one.

Comment from: Ottawon, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 05

I have neuropathic pain syndrome due to a car accident, with burning and stinging in both hands and feet. I am not diabetic. I had 2 electromyogram studies performed by different doctors. Luckily, there was only pin prick sensations or sometimes like getting a vaccination with a needle. It hurt a lot less than getting a shot in the mouth by a dentist. I know everyone has different problems and their bodies react differently. Best of luck to whoever needs to have this done.

Comment from: Barb, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: February 28

I had an electromyogram test 11 days ago. The test was not bad but I have more pain today than I have ever had in my life. I can't rest at night, can barely walk and am in constant pain somewhere in my body 24/7. The test was done in my legs and back. The neurologist said I have pinched nerves in both areas. I was fine when I left the office after the test. The pain gets progressively worse.

Comment from: Sue, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 13

I had an electromyogram (EMG) today. I hope to goodness I never have to do another one. It wasn't so much the poking of the needle but the moving it around and having to flex the muscle while the needle was in there that was excruciating. I think the jaw and tongue were the worst. I am just hoping I get some kind of answers after that horrific ordeal.

Comment from: grouch, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: January 06

I have had electromyogram (EMG) twice and will never do it again. An EMG is one of the most sadistic medical tests I have yet experienced. It was like being stabbed with an electric cattle prod.

Comment from: Honest, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 12

Please read this before you go for your electromyogram visit. I read all the posts here and went in almost shaking, anticipating a lot of pain because my tolerance is low. I did the nerve test and it was no different than the TENS machine when you do physiotherapy, a mild electric current. I also did the EMG and it was the same or less than the pinch from an acupuncture treatment. There was no pain! My doctor was very good and talked with me throughout the test and explained all. I know we are all different and some might have existing conditions that renders this test somewhat painful but I have arthritis and am very sensitive and it went well for me. I truly hope this helps you.

Comment from: Traci3_1, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 11

I had an electromyogram and nerve conduction study done today. The needles going in was no problem, I didn't feel it. The small shocks in my arms and legs were reasonable, a little bit like being tasered. But it was the one he did on the side of my neck; it was like torture, like pulling finger nails out. He did one lot of 10 pulses where my body was practically jumping to the roof, followed by a 30 second break then another ten pulses which was like a jack hammer going off in my head, then we waited 1 minute and he said one final lot of ten, we got to three and I was screaming, tears running down my face and he stopped it saying if I wasn't going to cooperate we wouldn't get the right result. Oh my goodness, I cooperated as best I could. It is 11 hours post the test now and I still have a thumping headache, every tooth in my mouth is aching and I have tingling in the right hand and foot. That cannot be right!

Comment from: Donna, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 22

I had an electromyogram on my legs yesterday. The neurologist prescribed one 0.5 Xanax for anxiety. I did not take it. Shocks were quick, once in a while a foot jerked but not painful. It feels like a TENS machine. Regarding the needles, I did not feel at all, except when targeting those painful muscle areas. My neurologist kept me preoccupied with conversation about our love of cooking. Overall, a painful experience was highly overrated. No bruising, no swelling, no bleeding. And may I add I take Plavix and had no reaction whatsoever!

Comment from: mrchester, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 20

I had an electromyogram and needle test done yesterday and after reading other patients' experiences I was dreading it. Mine were carried out on my legs and arms and I can honestly say apart from a few strong twinges, it was painless. I did not even feel the needle going in. I feel a bit sore today and have slight bruising. I would not be worried if I had to have another one done. Everyone is different, I know, but it definitely was not painful

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Comment from: Big Cap, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: March 18

I just had an electromyogram. My wife read up on it and did not tell me (she had fun with that). It was awful for me. I couldn't wait until it was over. I have a high tolerance for pain. The doctor said some people don't have any problems at all. My test was 45 minutes. Mine was for spinal stenosis L4 and L5. The most pain was at my ankles. They did the test several times in the same place (which hurt the most) in sets of three. I do have drop foot and maybe my test was more intense. Not to scare anyone, but at the end of the day I could not get surgery without it.

Comment from: MN MN, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 27

I had the electromyogram test last week and for me it was a piece of cake. The electrical currents were nothing more than a hard reflex test. I jumped, but nothing painful. The needles felt like a bad mosquito bite. It was done quickly and I was on my way home. Not a bad experience for me and hope it shows why I have such bad muscle weakness in my legs.

Comment from: fairwinds, (Patient) Published: January 22

My experience with electromyogram is very similar. The shocks administered were very strong and became unbearable, when I stopped the procedure. The operator actually tried to follow my leg around as it flew off of the table, and I was reminded of the reaction to a Taser gun (admittedly as seen in the movies). I puzzled over the experience, thinking that the operator had the setting too high, but these forum entries here show that the shocks although brief can be very severe. Finally, the leaflet given at the booking stage mentions a slight tingling, clearly a big understatement. My doctor when discussing the experience, was of the opinion that the leaflet has to understate the shocks in order to reassure the patients, many of whom would not turn up if they knew the true situation.

Comment from: Verklempft, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: November 02

On 10/21/2015 I had just put toddlers down for naps and lay down to nap also while singing. I looked over at the 17 month old which was down/left from my supine position and had severe spinning, nausea, and what I now know was eye twitching. I learned that day from a friend about benign positional vertigo which was resolved with exercises. I called his doctor and was facing a USD 1000 visit, so googled the subject and found several videos with various maneuvers. I was able to trigger the vertigo by lying on back with head hanging and turning to left. Turning to right I have no vertigo or eye twitch. I went ahead and did self Epley on left but failed to stay upright for the day. Today (day after self-treatment) I had a bout of vertigo while feeding kids lunch but cannot cause any spinning with positioning my head as before. I feel much better but kind of hungover, like tired and fuzzy. If symptoms last will absolutely see the dizziness doctor to rule out serious illness.

Comment from: Lil MIke, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 27

I have had two electromyograms (EMGs) after an accident that ruptured 2 discs. I am so glad for the few that did not have much pain. It was the worst pain I have ever felt. Sticking needle in was bad, moving it around was worse, and add electrical shock, I puked. The VA (Veteran's Affairs) wanted to do one on both legs and both arms, I said no, thank you. My neurologist told me that worse the nerve damage worse the pain! Like now if anything touches my thumb, pointer, and middle finger on left hand, it feels like a needle; just a mild touch like a piece of paper. I have been having this for 6 months now. After cervical fusion of C5/C6/C7 in 1996 the surgeon said that the ones above and below will go next because they are taking the extra stress. I am sure that is what has happened. But anyone that knows the VA can attest to the bureaucratic red tape. I finally had MRI 3 days ago, still no results. Good luck with you all.

Comment from: no human, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 21

I am allergic to all antibiotics. My mouth swells, I can't breathe, and I get hives and rash. I hope I am the only one out there with this trouble. I am allergic to everything outside. Most food, pets, soap, dust, and over the counter medicines.

Comment from: Mariya, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 14

I've had yeast and thrush infection since I was 11 years old (I'm 24 now). When I first went to the gynecologist she advised I was apparently young and most probably there were a lot of hormonal issues going on. She gave treatment for my bacterial vaginosis and said my skin was just too sensitive. After I finished my treatment after a month or so I was feeling ok, but in couple of weeks the infections came back. I went to my general physician (GP) this time, she also prescribed me pills, but nothing worked. As a child I was also constantly ill, so I had to take a lot of antibiotics, but nobody told me it will make my yeast and thrush infection worse! Five years ago my problem got even worse, there was no longer that little itch and a bit of burning sensation, it was so painful I couldn't walk! I then went to another professional and he prescribed me 3 month course of pills, which helped me a lot. I started to feel better, however, I was also having another problem; since I had my first period I was having very heavy and painful periods, heavy bleeding, and diarrhea. I went to the GP and he advised me to try and take the pill and that this might sort both of my problems. So, I went on the pill and the first month was actually ok, my period was normal, almost no pain. During the second month my thrush came back! I had a lot of hormonal issues, I had problems sleeping during the years, and that got worse. So, I stopped the pill and just refused to see doctors anymore. For a whole year I was with non-stop yeast and thrush infections, everything was itchy, burning, painful, red and swollen. The amount of disgusting discharge was unbelievable. I was always tired, but blamed the infection, stress and work. Apparently something was wrong with my immune system, so 2 months ago I decided to give it one last chance and went to the GP. She said we needed to check for diabetes or anemia as a lot of women have thrush if they have one of those conditions. I found I was in fact anemic, and I had huge deficit of iron. She prescribed me iron pills for 6 months ad said that this might also help my infection. I've been taking the iron pills for a month now and I have energy! I can run! No headache, no breathing issues, and yeast and thrush infection got better. I only have minor swelling and itching before and after period, but the rest of the time it's fine! Also, the GP prescribed me a very nice cream for the itch, Timodine! You might have a burning sensation the first few minutes, but then it removes the pain and itch. I hope I could help! Good luck!

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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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

Comment from: Rodger, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: September 24

I had an electromyogram (EMG) done this morning with hardly any pain at all. I have some pain in my lower legs and my primary care physician (PCP) wanted my nerves checked. The doctor (not technologist) applied some pads and sent some electrical pulses through. Some of the stronger ones made me jump a little; the others were very mild. Then he used some needles, minor pricks; nothing terrible at all.

Comment from: Inpain, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 24

I just returned home from the nerve test. The electromyogram was awful despite the nurse saying it won't hurt! The high intensity shocks shook my whole leg and hurt to the point of tears (I live with pain daily so am used to pain). I will never do it again.

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Comment from: tomsthumb, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: September 18

I had an electromyogram (EMG) of my legs and buttocks. This is what my surgeon wanted before he performs a second back surgery on me. The test went off without a hitch. A little painful here and there but acceptable. The problem I ran into was the next day, severe joint pain ankles, knees, elbows, wrist, and fingers. Hope this goes away soon; unbearable pain.

Comment from: EMGs hurt, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 17

Electromyograms (EMGs) are painful. I think that they must be more painful if you actually have something legitimately wrong with your nerves. The electrical impulses were rather unpleasant and even painful at some points, but the needle part was horrific. The needle itself was fine. I felt it going in and that didn't bother me, but the movement of the needle against the nerves was nearly unbearable. I had tears rolling down my face and was biting the blanket to help. The linens were soaked by the time I got up. I was in so much pain I was sweating profusely. They did my right leg and right arm. The arm was much worse than the leg; that is where I've been having my problem. I'm a person who handles pain pretty average. I had a breast augmentation (implants under the muscle), and took a total of 4 pain pills through my entire recovery process. I only add that to let you know, I'm really not a huge wuss. This one hurts! And everyone is right, plan on pain for several days after the procedure.

Comment from: ewan72403, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 15

I had an electromyogram of my leg. The electrode part was nothing, just felt like taps or whacks. The needles going in did hurt a bit naturally but not as bad as say having skin tags frozen off. I wouldn't have this for a lark but it was not terrible.

Comment from: Ewan72403, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 11

I had an EMG (electromyogram) and NCV (nerve conduction velocity test) this morning to check for causes of the severe pain I have been having in my knee. As far as I was concerned, the electrode part was nothing. All I felt was taps and whacks. Nothing I would call painful. The big ones are more startling. They feel like a punch in a way. The needle thing was somewhat painful. After all, they are sticking needles into muscles you are then asked to use. But I would not call it terrible by any stretch. And it was over in about 10 minutes, tops.

Comment from: Annamarie, 65-74 Female (Caregiver) Published: August 19

I had an electromyogram (EMG) yesterday. The technician was great, a lovely lady with a very soothing voice. She explained everything she was doing and was gentle. Yes, I felt the successive electric shocks, but they were quite bearable. I would not dissuade anyone who requires this diagnostic tool. It isn't bad at all! Be polite and ask the technician to explain it as s/he is doing it. And keep a good, positive attitude!

Comment from: SCB778049, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 25

I suffer from severe leg cramping, from my hips to my toes and it usually lasts two hours. I am currently having testing, the electromyogram (EMG) being one of them. I had the EMG today on my legs and back. It did not hurt at all, it was a piece of cake. This site made me very apprehensive before I had the test done, so much so that I almost cancelled the test the day before. The severe leg cramping I have is so much more painful. Don't let this site scare you. Most of the people who had positive EMGs probably did not post.

Comment from: evasher6, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 16

When I went for my nerve conductor/electromyogram (EMG) tests. Nerve conductor was done by tech- that went okay but, I didn't like how the doctor did my EMG tests. On most I read, the patient may be asked to contract muscles. Well, the doctor forced my foot, whereas the needle she inserted, because of the added pain, went deeper in my leg, and I had so much pain. I don't think she was supposed to force me to exert my muscles, afterwards I was suffering for quite some time. She kept asking me if I want to quit, several times; I told her no, I wanted to finish. I feel she was trying to make tests turn out better, plan for someone else to do over.

Comment from: jeffreypaul, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: July 14

I had both electromyogram (EMG) and nerve condition study (NCS) tests done, felt like a warm massage. I didn't mind the test at all, actually I didn't feel most of it. It's strange to me how so many people felt extreme pain from the tests. It makes me think either my nerves are severely damaged or the test just didn't affect me.

Comment from: Tiffany L, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 14

I had this electromyogram test done this morning for a bulging disc and it was nauseatingly painful. I have a high pain tolerance and I was in tears. The shocks were tolerable, but to have 9 in a row done at the highest intensity on several different spots hurt. And to have needles stuck into my leg from hip to ankle, front and back was one of the worst pains I have ever felt. I went to work after, and had to leave because I could barely walk. The bad thing, or good thing is that everything was normal. More tests now!

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Comment from: JJ, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: June 19

I just had an electromyogram (EMG) test today (6/17/14) and believe me it is nothing to fear! I had my left arm/shoulder and neck pricked with these needles and I have had mosquito bites that were worse! Very routine and my doctor was very experienced in doing these tests. Can't explain the previous responses from those people. Don't worry about anything!

Comment from: andreal, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 10

I had an electromyogram (EMG) test, but my physician did not explain what this was. The practitioner also did not explain, but sat me in a darkened room, with what he was doing behind me somehow. He plied me with stories about his life for about 1 1/2 hours, and did not answer any direct questions regarding what he was doing. I told him it felt like he was putting long needles into me and then applying electricity. He never answered me, but continued to try to distract me from the intense pain. After it was over, he showed me his equipment. It is so wrong not to explain to a patient what is going on. The pain was excruciating (rotator cuff area), and the results were inconclusive.

Comment from: cncxman, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 02

I got injured by stepping on a plastic chain with my left heel going forwards and my left leg staying put, this caused me to do the splits and falling on my back. The doctor sent me to do an electromyogram (EMG). I went to my appointment without knowing what an EMG is. I do know now. It is a series of electrical shots on various part of my leg increasing in intensity. It started feeling like small pricks to a full size torture shot lasting about 1/2 a second. This was very painful to me and I screamed every time she did the third or fourth intensity levels. It was repeated on about 5 areas of my leg. Once she finished, the doctor inserted what felt like a needle with an electric shock but this did not hurt as much. I was glad when it was over. Pain level was 9 out of 10.

Comment from: Hater, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: April 17

I had an electromyogram (EMG) today. Pure Torture! It was necessary due to a knee injury. The needles hurt! The shock waves were not bad. The test ended with needles in my middle back on each side of my spine. Oh my goodness, never again! I actually cried! Five hours later my back really hurts. If anyone is going to have this done, get specific answers about what you will experience with this test, and you want to take something for pain prior to your test. I was not told correctly about what I was going to experience.

Comment from: eloh, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 11

I just had the electromyogram (EMG) test on my left hand, arm and shoulder. I don"t think that I have a high pain tolerance, but I felt that this test was mildly unpleasant at worst. I was very nervous about the test and felt a bit silly to have been so worried. It could have been that the doctor was so proficient and pleasant, there was no technician in sight.

Comment from: wsemmerich, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: April 01

I had electromyogram (EMG) test on 3/27/2014. I have neuropathy in my feet, no problem with the test. When the technician did an arm, I suspect that the pacemaker in my shoulder was disturbed by the electrical pulses. I fainted and the technician said that my lips looked ash-grey, so she terminated the test. I recovered within minutes. Obviously, they did not pay attention when I told them about the pace maker before the test.

Comment from: cdn, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 03

I had an EMG (electromyogram) nerve conduction study on January 29 2014. It was the worst pain I have ever had to go through. I feel like I am in more pain now than I was before. If you"re going to have one, definitely take some pain medications before to help with the pain and make sure an experienced technician or doctor is performing the test.

Comment from: Cassie2u, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 28

I just had an electromyogram (EMG) today for left sided pain from neck down to fingers. It was exactly like someone else said "torture". I will never have one again; couldn"t even finish. If the shocks weren"t bad enough, having needles stuck in your arm and then being told to bend it while they swirl it around the nerve. Insane! Then when she got to my neck, I wanted to die. Having children was much easier. When she stuck the first needle in my back, I couldn"t handle anymore. She asked if I wanted to stop. Yes! Never would I ever do that again. I am still sore. I just hope she can get enough to give me results of this pain I"ve had for two years in my shoulder/AC joint.

Comment from: bellagramma, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: January 31

On 1/28/14 I had an EMG (electromyogram) for neuropathy of lower extremities, my feet are numb and they tingle at times. It seems as though the needles inflamed the nerves, I have a burning sensation and pain in my legs. It made my symptoms worse than before the test.

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Comment from: lynn, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 29

I had gone in to have this electromyogram done yesterday on my legs and feet and I will admit that I was very nervous. The shock part wasn't that bad, and when the neurologist came in to do the needle part he had said that the shock part didn't look that bad. So I asked him what the point was to have this needle test if the shock test didn't look so bad and he said that they go together, so I said ok I'm ready then and he said he had already stuck 2 needles in and I did not even feel them at all, so it is really nothing to be worried about. So I am not worried at all about going in for the upper EMG in 2 weeks and am thankful that this test gave me an accurate diagnosis.

Comment from: painpain, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 23

I have had a lot of pain with carpal tunnel syndrome and pain in shoulder blades. I got an electromyogram test and nerve conduction test done ten days ago. I am in more pain than I ever was before! The nerve test hurt a lot on the first arm from fingertips to neck. But the second arm was easier to handle. The EMG test was extremely painful and they also must have aggravated nerve and muscle and I have been in a lot more pain than before. My hands are weaker and still sore and I have had to take more pain medications in the last ten days than I have ever have before! I get my results tomorrow!

Comment from: Jean, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 06

The shocks were so high and excruciating that my foot and leg jumped off the table. This was done over and over again. She called the doctor in and he held my hand. It was worse than the labor of my three children, natural deliveries. We may have had someone that didn't know what they were doing or we have very live nerves. I will never get this done again. They should put some people out for this kind of thing, especially if they had a bad first experience.

Comment from: Inge, Female (Patient) Published: April 21

This electromyogram test is barbaric! I never made it past level 5. I told the resident doctor administering the test to stop because if she did it one more time, I was going to punch her. I will never agree to do one of those ever again.

Comment from: Whyer, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: January 23

My left arm was tested with an electromyogram on 1/21/15. Pain is about the same as getting a blood test. Nothing to get excited about.

Comment from: pat, 45-54 (Patient) Published: December 24

The electromyogram was not painful at all. It is almost like acupuncture.

Comment from: Ow!, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 28

My electromyogram (EMG) was so horribly painful I made them stop in the middle and refused to finish. I was in tears.

Comment from: Maria, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: May 21

I got this done today. Electromyogram (EMG) is torture! On top of going through this the doctor still doesn"t know what's wrong.

Comment from: NeverAgain, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 21

I had an electromyogram (EMG) done on my legs and back. It was horrendous pain. I was also not told about what to expect at all. I will never have one of these tests done again. I told my wife that she can push me around drooling in a wheelchair but never again... and to think that I paid for this torture. I may sound trite but I am dead serious; this was extremely painful.

Comment from: Di, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 19

I just had the electromyogram (EMG). It was not so bad. I expected some pain but what there was, was quick and tolerable. The results answered our questions so I am happy to have had it done.

Comment from: sj, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: March 11

The electromyogram (EMG) was not that bad. The shocks were tolerable and the needle part was easy - most of the time I did not even feel the needles go in.

Comment from: Molly, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

I experienced an electromyogram. It was painful though not unbearable, which is what the doctor said at the beginning of the test. A couple of the needles hurt really badly. But I used deep breathing to keep calm. I was having the test to determine why I had so much pain and weakness in my muscles and to see if it related to a fall I had a year ago. It did give very useful information.

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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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

Comment from: Mike, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: September 16

My doctor suggested an electromyogram (EMG) test. Being a type 1 diabetic, I suffer from nerve pain constantly. Just recently my right shoulder actually feels like it's on fire. It gets cold and fingers get numb.

Comment from: EMGtoday, Female (Patient) Published: August 04

What happens if the electromyogram (EMG) test didn't hurt at all! I didn't really feel it. It felt very relaxing to me on the highest level. I don't know if that is good or bad.

Comment from: ahmed, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: April 14

I've had electromyogram (EMG) ten years back. The result was myopathy in my muscles that wasn't neuromuscular and the myopathy was higher in my lower limbs.

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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.

Comment from: Mermaid51, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

I received an electromyogram on both hands and arms. It was relatively quick and relatively non-painful.

Comment from: md, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 08

I've had an electromyogram at least 6 times. The electrical shocks, though not harmful, really get set me on edge. The needle part is a piece of cake.

Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 20

I had the needle test done in 2009. It was one of the most painful things I've ever gone through. I was stuck with a needle countless times from my wrists to my ankles. When the test was over I was even bleeding in a few areas. That's one test I'm not willing to ever have again!

Comment from: grandma16, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 08

Had an EMG and Nerve Conductor test this morning on both legs. I was really dreading it, but the nerve test was only slightly painful at times and the EMG was not bad at all except for a quick pain on just one of the first injections. Other than than I didn't even know when he put the needle in. Would not be apprehensive to have it done again.

Comment from: Audra, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: May 01

I had an EMG and NCV done a week ago after being referred by my hand specialist who thinks I have anterior interosseous nerve (AIN) palsy. The doctor spent the first 10 minutes looking through textbooks, then she kept the books at the end of the table while conducting the test, referring to them often. This was painful for me and I have a high pain tolerance. She continually had to move the needle to get to the nerve (it is very deep) and the shocks while it was touching the nerve were quite painful. This test is highly dependent on how skilled the doctor is at performing it. Needless to say, I wasn't impressed by this doctor.

Comment from: jorgie2012@optonline, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 01

I had an EMG done last week. It was a little painful, but that night was the worst. The pain woke me up out of a sound sleep at 3 a.m. and I could not go back to sleep. An MRI showed herniated discs – C2-C7, and pressure on the spinal cord at C5 and C6. I'm still numb in my hand and can't hold on to anything. I see the doctor tomorrow for results of the EMG but was told it looked OK by the doctor who did it. I can't stand the numbness and neck pain anymore – it's been going on since February.

Comment from: 55-64 (Patient) Published: February 04

I had the EGM procedure done last week and I found it the most excruciating procedure that I have ever gone through.Not only did it hurt terribly when the needles went in, but was worsened by the electrical shocks that followed. I almost had the doctor stop in the middle of the procedure. However, the doctor told me that I wouldn't get the true results if I stopped the procedure. So, I finished the tests. Afterwards, my arm and neck hurt so badly and I had to go back to work. For a while, I sat in the parking lot trying to block out the pain before I drove. I wouldn't do this again. Never! Get an MRI done instead.

Published: January 02

I had this test done on my thumb where I have nerve damage. The needle stick wasn't too bad, but then the doctor moved the needle around in the muscle to find the nerve. Needless to say, it hurt quite a bit. And it continued to hurt for a week. I now have to have it done in my arm, neck and possibly in my spine. I'm not looking forward to it at all.

Comment from: herbincowboy, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: January 02

I had an EMG in 2008. Red flags went up when they repeatedly told me I could stop the procedure at any time. The room was full of medical students and I'm sure that the teaching prolonged the procedure. Pain does not suffice, agony is the description I would use. I refused to stop the EMG because I wanted proof that my chronic lower back pain was not in my head. My diagnosis was neuropathy and radiculopathy.

Comment from: Dee, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: November 20

Had an electromyogram done but I have numbness on left side so it wasn't so bad. I didn't even feel it in my left arm, one area in lumbar was nerve root irritation was pain but that proved a point of having it done to find the problem. Was ok versus peace of mind of knowing I wasn't crazy but really having problems would do again. Doctor was a gentleman and was informative as we went along so maybe depends on a lot of factors of tolerance and who is performing the test.

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Published: October 09

Was petrified of having this test in my legs as it was not explained well at the hospital, actually it was not explained at all. Anyway, it is supposed to be no big deal. The first test feels like a TenS unit but even less shock. The needles are like acupuncture. You basically don't feel them and if you do, the doctor can move them so it doesn't hurt, like in acupuncture. The only remaining result of this test was two very black and blue marks on my thigh and calf. It was a piece of cake.

Comment from: Richard, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: October 09

The EMG diagnosed my post polio syndrome. I had weakening muscles in my left calf. The EMG was confirmed on 9-11-2011. What a hell of a day for our nation!

Comment from: momof1, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 09

I had an EMG done on my entire right side. It was a very painful and frustrating test. Not sure why no one can figure out a better way to give this test. Bad news was I did end up with a deficit on the right side.

Comment from: checotahkid, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: September 21

I was informed today that I am going to need an EMG. I have three neck fractures. The first fracture was the c-3 and c-4 , the second fracture was the c-2 and c-3 , the 3rd fracture was the c-5 and c-6. I have myleograms, cervical disco-grams, four neck surgeries, and a halo. For the life of me, I do not believe I have ever had a EMG. This will be my maiden, I believe. I am plated from the c-3 - c-7.

Comment from: littlelaura, Female Published: September 12

I had an EMG yesterday. Yes, it does take some time but I barely felt any pain at all. The results were not normal so I don't know if that means anything or not but don't be afraid to do this test. It's a breeze.

Comment from: Mary J., 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 12

Well, I guess it depends on your pain tolerance. I had one today from my waist to my foot and while it was somewhat unpleasant, it was not unbearable. I won't lie and say I wasn't happy when it was over but I have been in worse pain. I have had two of these tests done prior to this one so it isn't an enigma that it didn't hurt that badly, none of the three did. I've had two on my back and right leg and one on my right arm. It is kind of creepy though. Oh, I am sore now.

Comment from: lem, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 20

I have had two electromyogram's about 3 to 4 years apart and almost cried when I was advised to have the second EMG, it was that painful. I also have had fibromyalgia and wonder if my pain response was abnormally intense due to that condition. If I am ever advised to have an EMG again, I think I will refuse.

Comment from: Bert, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: July 23

My doctor deliberately downplayed the pain involved before my first electromyogram. I asked the tech "why the hole in the wall?" Apparently a week earlier a professional football player punched the wall due to the pain involved. I personally know of three people that never made it through. Two were in tears. Problem is the test may be necessary, unfortunately, it is subjective depending on the user's ability to correctly interpret the info.

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