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Thread: EMG test?

  1. #1

    EMG test?

    Lately I've been having more neurological problems than usual. I've been having constant twitching in my triceps, through my forearms and down to my fingers. My dr. referred me to a neurologist, who wants to do an EMG/NCV test to see what's going on. Has anyone had that test done before? What can I expect? I'm nervous because I know it involves sticking needles into my muscles and electrical shocks; I have a big phobia of needles. Should I be nervous about this? My test is scheduled for 1/31.

  2. #2
    Senior Member willingtocope's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
    Pleasant Hill Iowa
    Piece of cake. No real discomfort.

  3. #3
    Senior Member skippy13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    in a handbasket
    Having had more than my fair share of these things (6 that I can recall) it really depends on who is doing the test and where they are on your body and how much sensation you have. Last ones I had were for uncontrollable twitching in the arches of my feet and in the outer part of my ankles and lower legs. I also have had them do my hands, thumbs and arms. The thumb kind of sucks and the arch of the foot is god awful, but in general they are not too bad when not in a particularly sensitive area. I have blunted sensation in all four limbs, so it could have been worse. I will never go for the arch of the foot again.
    Anything worth doing, is worth doing to excess

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Aug 2007
    last house on the left
    They are not so much like needles as much as they resemble accupunture, so they don't really hurt. The most you will feel is some of your muscles contracting in the test area. It is a bit weird, but not painful since it sounds like you will be having them placed only on your arms.

  5. #5
    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
    Indianapolis, IN
    The needles are very small. For your arm, they will start at the fingers and work all the way up to your neck. The only spot that was painful for me was the back of my neck. There are two parts to the test. In the first one they will tape sensors to spots on your hand/fingers, and then "shock" (its not painful, think static electricity) your arm and the sensors record the length of time and signal of the nerve impulse. The second part is with the needle that has an electrode on the tip. They stick it in to the muscle and it will record the nerve activity of the muscle fibers. sometimes you'll be asked to make movements while the needle is in the muscle, to record activity during the movement.

    Its not a pleasant test, but sounds much worse than it is. If you don't psyche yourself out for it then it won't be bad at all.
    Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

    I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

  6. #6
    I disagree that it's ''a piece of cake'' but it's not an agonizingly painful test either these days. There was some discomfort, particularly when the muscles in my thumb/fingers/hand were contracted, but it's intermittent. Tell the person conducting the test about your needle phobia, don't watch what's being done, and practice relaxation/deep breathing techniques to use before and during the test and you'll do fine.
    It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience.

    ~Julius Caesar

  7. #7
    I have complex regional pain syndrome. I wanted to die when I had the emg done. we did it once. I will never do it again.

    I didn't have any problem where I don't have the disorder though, so unless you have something like that...

  8. #8
    Hi Maggie,

    I am also a C5-C6 quad. I had this done and it is not that bad though I didn't particularly enjoy it. My wife and niece both had it (AB's) and it was horrible for them.

    Good luck and don't worry about it.
    ''Life's tough... it's even tougher if you're stupid!'' -- John Wayne

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Millard View Post
    Hi Maggie,

    I am also a C5-C6 quad. I had this done and it is not that bad though I didn't particularly enjoy it. My wife and niece both had it (AB's) and it was horrible for them.

    Good luck and don't worry about it.
    I'm worried about AD due to the needle sticks and shocks. Was AD ever a problem for you during the test? When I had my ASIA testing done, that sent me into full-on AD, so I can only imagine what this'll do to me. I'm hyper-sensitive in some areas, so I'm dreading this. Might take a valium beforehand for my sanity...

  10. #10
    And thank you all for your feedback on your experiences. I was definitely imagining a big old needle instead of an acupuncture-type needle. That helps...a bit. Still a needle tho.

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