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Electromyography test - what’s it like?

Discussion in 'Other specific illnesses' started by Sarah94, Sep 22, 2022.

  1. Sarah94

    Sarah94 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I have an electromyography test coming up as part of investigations that I’m having for another medical condition.

    Just wondering if anyone else has had this and if so is it painful?
     
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  2. Shadrach Loom

    Shadrach Loom Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Sorry, not stalking you, you just appear to be living my last year.

    I’m afraid that yes, it is very unpleasant indeed. And it was particularly annoying that the bloke tasked to operate the contraption took it on himself, once he had satisfied himself that my fibres were tickety-boo, to explain that “the brain is a very powerful organ” and “mental stress can cause what appear to be physical symptoms”. Outwith his remit as he was only subcontracting to a rheumatologist who had ordered a vast battery of tests, and would have put him at a high risk of being shot if I had happened to have been armed.

    Pain maybe tattoo-removal level of grimness, but only during the procedure - it stops as soon as the leccy is switched off.
     
  3. Kitty

    Kitty Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I hope you get through it okay, @Sarah94. I hate those journeys into the unknown with tests.

    I haven't considered lethal force (yet), but I have fantasised about having a neon sign on my wheelchair that says Oh Just Sod Off Will You, which lights up when I press a button.
     
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  4. Sarah94

    Sarah94 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I’ve never had a tattoo, so not sure what to make of that last comment.
     
  5. lunarainbows

    lunarainbows Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I found it less painful than an endoscopy, colonoscopy, transvaginal scan etc. But it may be that I’m not so bad with needles, but am bad with pretty much every other type of invasive investigation.

    They put needles in and do little electric shocks. It’s not pleasant - the needles are painful, and the electric shocks are painful, but the pain level of it was ok for me (even though it was hard).

    I had nerve conduction at the same time as EMG, which a lot of people do have, I can’t remember which was which, but I think both were around the same level of pain.

    Edit: and yes the pain stopped as soon as the electricity was switched off, for me too.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2022
  6. Louie41

    Louie41 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I've had this test twice. Both times, I found that by totally accepting and not resisting the shocks, and focusing on keeping my breath steady, I didn't experience pain per se, but rather sensation that was similar to a pinch.
     
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  7. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I had an EMG when I developed carpal tunnel syndrome recently. I have had them before as part of teaching sessions.

    Part of it just involves recording your muscle efforts. The unpleasant part is when electric shocks are used to test the nerve conduction efficiency. I think unpleasant is the right word rather than painful. The shocks do not last and there are not that many of them. If you have a reason to have EMG I think it is well worth gritting your teeth and bearing it because it provides very useful objective data.

    Edit: Or as Louie41 says probably just try and relax and let it happen rather than grit the teeth. It is all over very quickly.
     
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  8. Braganca

    Braganca Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    It’s a bit uncomfortable but totally manageable and doesn’t take too long.
     
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  9. Sarah94

    Sarah94 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Oh yes I am having nerve conduction too
     
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