I am scheduled for an EMG on Monday and had one person tell me it brought her to tears. Needles used to terrify me but I've had so many shots over the years they're like nothing to me now. As long as I don't have to see them going in I'm good! Anyway, just want to know if it's really all that painful. Also, my Neurosurgeon told me that one of my discs looked really dry. Could that be causing all this pain? It was pretty much totally black on the MRI. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks!
[QUOTE=Krysv]I am scheduled for an EMG on Monday and had one person tell me it brought her to tears. Needles used to terrify me but I've had so many shots over the years they're like nothing to me now. As long as I don't have to see them going in I'm good! Anyway, just want to know if it's really all that painful. Also, my Neurosurgeon told me that one of my discs looked really dry. Could that be causing all this pain? It was pretty much totally black on the MRI. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks!
I've had two EMGs. They're not "comfortable," but neither one was very bad either. It's an important test to assess nerve damage. Compared with some other things--like a discogram--it's really not a big deal for many people. Of course, everyone's pain tolerance is different, as is the way the test is performed. Good luck if you go with it.
I had that test done. Nothing to it. It is true that they use needles, but you don't feel them. The Dr put some anesthesia cream where she was putting the needles. Actually they just do a small touch to your skin, well at least it felt like it. No big deal. Now, ask me about the Mylogram... then I can tell you a horrible story ... unfortunately.
The needles they use for the EMG are very thin. I agree with Raiza - to me it was uncomfortable, but not painful. I've been in so much pain the past couple of years, and I was hoping so much to get an answer, that the discomfort from the EMG was that important.
I also agree, unfortunately, with Raiza's assessment of the myelogram. I think that is different for different people and different diagnoses, though. I was told mine was so unbearably painful due to the severe compression.
If the dr felt it was necessary, I'd have another EMG with no hesitation. Even if the dr felt it was necessary, it would be hard to talk me into another myelogram. However, as I said, not everyone finds them painful.
Last edited by StillWater; 11-19-2003 at 08:01 PM.
hi...I was reading everybody's posts and thought I would jump in.
I had an EMG a couple months ago. For mine, they definitely didn't use any anesthetic cream or anything and it was somewhat painful. Mine was about 2 hours long. It was bearable, but it was painful.
But the thing that bothered me about it was that after I had it done, it showed nerve damage or whatever at L4-5 and L5-S1. That was ordered by my pain management doctor. But then when I took the results to an orthopedic surgeon he told me "Everyone knows that test is completely unreliable."
I was like "so WHY do they ever perform this test then?????
Who knows. Has anyone else been told that ? I was rather annoyed.
But anyway, good luck with it...I hope it goes well.
I had a couple of EMGs within months of each other by different docs--the findings were different, and I don't think that's because my back changed. The second one was done by a neurologist (first by a physical medicine doc). Because of that, and a few other reasons, I tend to trust the second more.
Re: myelograms, as I've posted elsewhere, mine was much less discomforting than I thought it would be. So....different pokes for different folks, I guess.
I had an EMG done. Although my problems were mainly cervical, I found the whole test to be tolerable. It was not painful, mildly uncomfortable maybe. Mine was very quick. I would never be afraid to have one done again. One of my doctors wanted me to have a myelogram and I will not do it!!!!!!!!!!
[/COLOR][/SIZE][COLOR=DarkSlateBlue][SIZE=4][SIZE=4][COLOR=DarkGreen]Hi Jen, I've had 2 EMGs as well, which came back normal yet I'm diagnosed with sciatica!! My drs have told me that it's unreliable too!! They said that unless you hit every nerve in your body, it's easy to miss the damaged nerve!! I really don't think that applies when they've found the damaged nerve though, that just doesn't make sense! I can understand when they don't 'cause it's always possible that they just didn't check that particular nerve!! There's so many nerves running through our spines, anything's possible! I hope this helps, take care!![/SIZE][/COLOR]
I may be wrong, but with mine, I think at least part of the value was confirming the numbness and the reason for it. I had one several years ago, that showed some neuropathy, but nothing was done at that time. This time, my foot is dragging and foot and leg are numb. I think the EMG and NCT confirmed the cause of that.
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I have also had the EMG, twice! The first one I had was in some strange Drs office I had never been to before. I had my then 4 yr old daughter with me. It was and still has been the most painful procedure I have ever had! But I had a 2nd one 1 yr ago, and I was more prepared, and terrified, and it wasent 1/2 as bad! Go figure! I remember my little girl looking at me and I was trying desperatly to not yell like a mad woman at this "frakenstein" DR! I can laugh now, but It was terrible. This last one was ok, I had told my new MD that the 1st one was "primal" and he helped me to cope with his study. Just to let you know they both were inconclusive, and as you can see by my signature, I have serious issues that are really there!
good luck, you will probably be way more prepared than I was, which is the best medicine![/FONT]
L5/S1 herniation 7mm 01/18/00
Thoratic pain began Dx buldge @ T-8 08/02
Had MRI on Lumbar because pain was returning, also scaned T spine 8/02, Dx recurrent L5/S1 herniation and new herniation @ level L4/5
Cervical pain began 2/03
Had MRI~Dx herination @ level C 6/7
Had anterior decompresion with hardware and use of my own hip bone graft to C 6/7 8/14/03
Accepted in Clinical trials/getting my 2 level Prodisc ADR in Feb!