Is an EMG (electromyography) painful?

Posted by wisfloj @wisfloj, Jun 16, 2020

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.

@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

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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.

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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.

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@marye2

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.

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Sounds like you've got it down to a science. What we do for our bodies. Keep up the good work!

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Okay okay! I will go LOL i’m on Medicare now so it’ll be covered, it’s only about a half hour from me, and when it’s over I can say I tried everything. I have some Xanax I haven’t taken in a while, so I think one of those should do the trick and Yes I will have a driver.My only issue was the pain I’m anticipating🐔Thank you to my cheerleaders!
Joanne

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@wisfloj

Okay okay! I will go LOL i’m on Medicare now so it’ll be covered, it’s only about a half hour from me, and when it’s over I can say I tried everything. I have some Xanax I haven’t taken in a while, so I think one of those should do the trick and Yes I will have a driver.My only issue was the pain I’m anticipating🐔Thank you to my cheerleaders!
Joanne

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@wisfloj YAYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!! 😃

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@wisfloj

Okay okay! I will go LOL i’m on Medicare now so it’ll be covered, it’s only about a half hour from me, and when it’s over I can say I tried everything. I have some Xanax I haven’t taken in a while, so I think one of those should do the trick and Yes I will have a driver.My only issue was the pain I’m anticipating🐔Thank you to my cheerleaders!
Joanne

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Ain't clarity great? Good luck Joanne.

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@wisfloj

Okay okay! I will go LOL i’m on Medicare now so it’ll be covered, it’s only about a half hour from me, and when it’s over I can say I tried everything. I have some Xanax I haven’t taken in a while, so I think one of those should do the trick and Yes I will have a driver.My only issue was the pain I’m anticipating🐔Thank you to my cheerleaders!
Joanne

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Hope all is well with you. Wondering how you are since your last message. Just wanted you to know cheerleaders like to cheer. Best Wishes.

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I did reschedule my EMG, can’t get in till September! I have expired Xanax, which I know RXs are potent afterwards, they said it’s fine to take one. beforehand. So that is the plan 😬

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I had two EMGs done about a month apart by two different neurologists. The first neurologist had 30 years experience. I don’t know what the problem was, but he had me jumping off the table with pain. He finally zapped me one last time and said. “We’ll stop here.” I wish I had stopped him myself. A month later a second neurologist did an EMG test and I had no pain at all. I should mention that my condition hadn’t changed during this period. EMGs needn’t be painful. The skill of the doctor or technician has a lot to do with it.

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I've had my share of EMG's, 3 at Mayo and a couple at HP Specialty Centre's. Every single one of them were horribly painful. Each time I had tried to discuss my neuropathy with any of my Mayo doctors, they bring up having another EMG. I'd rather be miserable with neuropathy than go through that horrendous pain again. I would really like to know which doctor you had perform it pain free. Needles and the electrical shocks all the way up each leg, front and back as well as in my feet seemed to take forever and then having them move the needles around in quite a few spots in the muscles or nerves to get the "right" spot. No thank you!!

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I had both an EMG and NCS done earlier this year. Like others have said I wouldn't say it's necessarily painful but more unpleasant but it's the only way to get a definitive answer.

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