EMG painful?

Posted by wisfloj @wisfloj, Tue, Jun 16 9:43pm

I canceled my EMG appointment because I was ‘chicken’. They called me to reschedule and I’m on the fence here. So veterans…. How bad is it?
I’ve had a nerve conduction study and that was tolerable. Thank you for sharing your experience/thoughts.

Liked by rwinney

@wisfloj This is too funny because I have had both an EMG and NCS over 2 and a half years ago and it wasn't awful, yet not pleasant. The needles in muscles are a little tough. Now here I am after the fact with a diagnosis of SFPN and more pain, and going for 2nd round of testing to rule out further advancements. Ughh…contemplation. I'm between do I or dont I? Scheduled for July 10th with a 2nd neurologist opinion the 14th. I'm feeling ckickenish too but, am going to make it happen. I hope you will too if it means possibly helping you or bringing clarity to your situation. Best of luck! We got this.
Rachel

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@wisfloj Like Rachel @rwinney I have also had both an EMG and NCS and I wouldn't describe it as painful. I agree with Rachel that it is unpleasant. Here is some information about nerve conduction study from Johns Hopkins http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/test_procedures/neurological/nerve_conduction_velocity_ncv_92,p07657/
A related procedure that may be performed is electromyography (EMG). An EMG measures the electrical activity in muscles and is often performed at the same time as NCS. Both procedures help to detect the presence, location, and extent of diseases that damage the nerves and muscles. In this video, Dr. Eric Sorenson discusses the EMG (Electromyography) test.

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@wisfloj @rwinney @johnbishop Hi all, I had the EMG/Nerve conduction tests, twice, at 2 different places, 2 different techs, 2 different neurologists. The first time, I found both tests to be a bit painful, at times. Not terrible, but a touch painful. The second time I had the EMG/Nerve conduction tests, I felt nothing. Utterly painless. Interestingly, the second time I did it, the technician said something to the effect, "I am going to use the same stuff on you that I would use, if you were just an infant. I really do not know what this means exactly, but the results were awesome. Utterly painless. Unfortunately, I have no clue what the tech meant. Maybe ask for the most delicate way to do the procedure, as in my experience, it is not all the same. Hope this helps. Lori

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You/re going there for a reason, that's what you should keep in mind.Tell them you have anxiety for this procedure and they may prescribe one anxiety pill for you for that appointment as long as you bring a driver with you. I had it done, it's not so bad (I had no anxiety pill).

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I had an EMG several years ago. Mine was not for neuropathy. It's a valuable tool for your Dr. to be able to proceed with your treatment. Sometimes we have to go through difficult part to get to the answer. Don't be uptight. Just relax. The tech will guide you through it. I am facing one in July for neuropathy.

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@rois4richo

I had an EMG several years ago. Mine was not for neuropathy. It's a valuable tool for your Dr. to be able to proceed with your treatment. Sometimes we have to go through difficult part to get to the answer. Don't be uptight. Just relax. The tech will guide you through it. I am facing one in July for neuropathy.

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Me too, in July. Comfort in numbers! C'mon @wisfloj ….we got this.

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@wisfloj Your experience will be different depending on your pain tolerance, if you have or don't have nerve damage, and the skill of the person giving the test. What you can bring to the table is relaxation and deep breathing. I also suggest bring a photo or photo book to look at of things or places you love and you can imagine that you are there instead. You also can ask for a break for a few minutes if you are getting too stressed out. I have done that. I have had several of these nerve conduction and EMG tests. The EMG part was the worse for me because I feared pain and the needles that cause the pain. I have worked hard to get past that fear, and I have succeeded, and I have been able to tolerate stuff far worse than this test without passing out, just by doing deep slow controlled breathing and imagining pictures in my mind. You can also engage in watching the graph on the monitor that shows the electric impulses and it makes a static noise when you move your muscles which receive the electric impulses. If you can get interested in how it works it will help. If you have damaged nerves, you might feel less pain in those areas. That was my experience. Ask them to tell you how many places they are testing so you can gauge your progress for when you are half way through or close to finished. My pain levels were different in all of the times I have had this test. I like to compare pain levels to the worst pain I have ever faced which was a spinal injection that caused off the charts electric shock pains and those went on for a few weeks after the injection. I was shaking uncontrollably and was on my way to passing out. They reminded me to breathe, and I started the slow deep breathing I had been practicing and I imaging a hawk circling in the air above me and staying there to watch over me. That worked, and I brought myself back from the brink. Now, I can tell myself that since I had this much control over my reaction to painful tests, that I can handle what comes my way, and I have. I'm sitting here now with a broken ankle and have had 2 recent surgeries for it, and yes, it has been very painful and for long periods of time, but I also know it's getting better, and one day that pain will be gone and I will have healed. Think of it that way, as temporary because it is, and you will get through it.

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I found the NOISE of my EMG very annoying but not painful. My neurologist later showed me part of the record which was fascinating. IW WOULD GO AHEAD WITHOUT MAJOR anxiety. Susan Sindall

Liked by rwinney

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I had an EMG a very long time ago, 15+ years ago. I don’t remember it being painful, but that may depend on the person doing the test. A first attempt at having a blood oxygen test was so painful that they never did complete the test after multiple sticks. I actually thought I was going to pass out. Had another one about 2 years ago and I barely felt it.

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Good luck with your tests. I’ve had a couple of EMG’s, not too nice not too bad. In my case, the more pain showed my body was working good. And I had no significant long term problems. I said, bring on the pain! And everything did kinda work out. Test was OK.

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Thank you all for your encouragement. I guess part of my hesitation is the question “will these results even lead to a determination of the cause and thus a cure for my neuropathy“? I’m working with a university Dr now. Got nowhere with my first one. Just seems the verdict is 'no cure and take drugs to mask pain.' For me, no cause as well. I just keep thinking if I go through with this testing will there be any benefit?

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Only one way to find out ——— GO ! If you go you may get results — If you don't go nothing will change for sure.

Liked by HankB

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@laurie1l

Only one way to find out ——— GO ! If you go you may get results — If you don't go nothing will change for sure.

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@wisfloj I agree with Laurie, however if some part of doing it strikes you as high cost to benefit, such as a horrible or long drive to and from, or something else, write down the pluses and minuses on a sheet of paper. Also, try writing down what your specific fears are as well as the things you hope to get out of doing it. Amazing how writing stuff out can bring you clarity. Best, Hank

Liked by rwinney

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@jesfactsmon

@wisfloj I agree with Laurie, however if some part of doing it strikes you as high cost to benefit, such as a horrible or long drive to and from, or something else, write down the pluses and minuses on a sheet of paper. Also, try writing down what your specific fears are as well as the things you hope to get out of doing it. Amazing how writing stuff out can bring you clarity. Best, Hank

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Agreed on that. I too am a paper girl. list maker, writer downer. Great advice Hank!

Joanne (I think)…it sounds like you have a huge supportive cheering section to just get it over with.

Liked by HankB

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@rwinney

@wisfloj This is too funny because I have had both an EMG and NCS over 2 and a half years ago and it wasn't awful, yet not pleasant. The needles in muscles are a little tough. Now here I am after the fact with a diagnosis of SFPN and more pain, and going for 2nd round of testing to rule out further advancements. Ughh…contemplation. I'm between do I or dont I? Scheduled for July 10th with a 2nd neurologist opinion the 14th. I'm feeling ckickenish too but, am going to make it happen. I hope you will too if it means possibly helping you or bringing clarity to your situation. Best of luck! We got this.
Rachel

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Smart! I have MCTD and have had the tests, but comes out normal. Have had some success treating like fibromyalgia, which requires movement to keep pain at bay. Inflammation, fluids pressing against nerves is my take. A daily walk for generalized pain; PT for specific joints. I use KT (kinesiology) tape to isolate painful areas, lidocaine patches, ice/heat, epsom salt baths, accupressure point massage…haven't tried accupuncture yet. Compression socks make a difference for legs.

Liked by rwinney, HankB

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