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The torture device that is the EMG

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Oh boy, I need to do another EMG as my last one was a year. Doctor wants me to do it before I get a new MRI and see a new Neurosurgeon, but I'm nervous.

It was so bad last time, the only thing worse was the Myleogram, which I will never, ever do again.

Anyone have any advice on how better to deal with the EMG? I'm going to request a Valium or something.


  • The EMG test was awful for me also. I even took a sedative and a pain med 1 hour before and it was still not pleasant. I kept trying to distract myself pretending I was laying on the beach. I hope they give you something to relax you. Good luck with the test. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Ya good luck with that one,i had one emg done and it is my last one.It hurt so bad i was in tears.The technician tol me that i was hypersensitive to it for some reason.Nope never again.
  • Yeah it was awful for me, although the Myleogram was considerably worse. I will bear the test, but I hope it shows the problem that's causing my pain because if it doesn't....I won't be too happy.

    The needle in between my thumb and forefinger was the worst, then the escalating shocks...akin to putting a fork in a toaster.
  • Yes, not sure what was worse, EMG or MRI.
    I never thought I was claustrophobic until the MRI!
    The EMG was worse I think. Stupid needles kept falling out. Plus, the results were...oh you have a pinched nerve...duh, that is what the MRI said too!

    Well...if you gotta do it...make them give you a valium or xanax. Then just do it and get it over with!

  • Yes espeically when you have it done in the neck
    & spine area and the shoulder area next to the neck

    I have a very high pain tolerance and the test brought
    me to a new height when it comes to a EMG

    I think the worst is the closes to the head and spine

    I had them in that fashion and it was very hard for me to tolerate the test but to prove nerve damage that is the test needed especially dealing with insurance companies
  • I had it done last friday again....Oh what joy ...
    He said i was brave OK so where was my sticker ....I bet pelosi wouldnt even let this test be done at club gitmo ....I never knew i was claustraphobic till i had an MRI ...last one i had doc told me 2 valium 30 mins before ..after 20 mins wasnt kicking in...so i had a backup..took it ...made it through they had an emergency ...got off the table couldnt feel my feet lol...
  • I had shoulder surgery then i had cervical neck ...c5-6 bone graft cage and plates ...i am 7 weeks post op from the neck surgery but my fingers are numb and my hand goes ice cold ..so nuero said lets get the tests done Again ..the Nuerologist was great which helped ..My Nuero told me i could go back light duty 3 days 4 hrs a week...had the test done and the Nuerologist said i wont be going back to work ..so i see nuero thursday get the results ...and i have to have the rotator done again because of an over zealous therapist .Bless her .
    Funny how WC sit on things but when it came to this test it was auth in 24 hrs lol...payback i suppose lol .
  • The very letters are sending shock waves dowm my arm!

    I'm still "recovering" from the TOS surgery and my neurologist was in shock at how much function I have lost in my right arm and hand and by the fact that the doc who did the surgery hadn't ordered any tests yet. She ordered an MRI, which I've already done, and an EMG of my right arm. I have horrible nerve pain in the arm, so bad that just touching the skin causes pain, and she wants to stick needles in it. Right.

    I'm hoping, after all the pain it causes, that it at least gives us some answers. My previous EMG's have proved to be inconclusive- maybe I have shy nerves LOL!

    Good luck to those who have to go through this test. I'd rather have this than a mylegram. never had one and never will by golly!


  • EMG'S are torture for me also. I don't know of any way to make them easier except medication. I had many EMG'S that never showed a problem, or showed a problem where there wasn't one. They have never been helpful in diagnosing me. I have refused all EMG'S since 2002. I no longer allow the medical field to abuse and torture my body. My body has been tortured enough! My surgeons have continued to treat me without insisting on this horrible test.
    Faith M
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,858
    different. I have had about 10 EMG tests done over a 15 to 18 year timeframe. I really only had some pain with one of them. That was because they were looking for some deep nerve damage. That procedure was about 45 minutes long. All the others were done in about 20 minutes.
    I've never been bothered by electrical shocks. Some of that started when my first home Tens unit was purchased in Japan.
    All the buttons and instructions were in Japanese. So, I had to figure out how to use it. Many times, I thought I was going to jump out of my seat.
    Perhaps I also dont mind shocks. If Office Riggs can handle car battery jolts with wet rags, then I should be able to deal with EMG's

    I am not a big fan of MRI's. Had more than 20 of them done on different parts of my spine. What I dont like is the time it takes and how you need to stay still.
    My view on MRI's
    Enjoying your MRI
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Have to say that I don't mind EMG's either. I guess working as a electrican for a long time took care of that. I have had 4 EMG's the last year and a half without problems, probably due to the way the test was done. The doctor always left me know when he was going to send a signal and that way I could be ready for it.

  • While I did find the test a bit uncomfortable with the shocks nothing to unbearable compared to the daily pain. I was hoping they would shock something back into whack? Most of one of my arms and a leg is numb so don't really feel the needle sticks at all. To get some signal in the foot she turned it high enough that it actually caused a muscle spasm in my calve. Which she politely apologized and massaged out. But as soon as it is over, you know the pain is gone. But I always say whatever it takes to get at the answer sign me up. I will take the short term pain to get past the daily pain.
  • How much valuim did he give you do you remeber
  • My last emg was also horrible. I was in tears and for 3 days afterward was the most horrible pain I think i've ever had :(
  • Post removed. No e-mail solicitation or advertising of other companies, products, services, or web sites is permitted in the Spine-Health.com forums.
    Edited by Authority Member Cath111.

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