Hi SoSickAndTired. You've already had a lot of great responses. I just thought I'd pipe up a little too. I've had a few EMG tests. The first one I had was with a sports medicine doctor. I wouldn't recommend that. The process isn't any worse, they just aren't trained well enough to read them well. They think they can do it because they're practiced at acupuncture. If you get a good one, I'm sure they can do an adequate job. I had a much better experience with the neurologist and the neurosurgeon. They really know their stuff. They were also much more understanding (most of their patients have spine issues). And instead of acting like I was stupid because I couldn't relax a muscle (that they said most people can't), they took care of it by resetting the needle somehow.
More to the point of your concern. I was very nervous going in as well. I wouldn't call it a fun test. I agree with WhiteBeard, everyone experiences pain differently. So I'm not even going to try and find a common experience I can compare it to. I think, though, that it is a test that does sound worse than it is. And like everyone else has said, it is worth it if it can lead you to better treatment for your existing pain. Being another male, I cannot be certain, but I don't think "not as bad as childbirth" is a good way of putting it. After all, there are many things I imagine are not as bad as childbirth. Like stubbing my toe, or a static shock from a door knob, probably even a paper cut
. I imagine that your doctor has probably never had an EMG done to them (as this isn't exactly a test usually suggested by a GP), so perhaps they can be forgiven for throwing a wide net. I imagine the last thing a doctor wants is to tell you something and have you come back irate that it was more painful than they said.
For the test, if you have a sociable doctor, it is a test you can talk to them during (except when they're listening to the machine). I don't know about
others, but I'm much more comfortable when I can talk to my doctor and they can tell me what they're up to and how it's going. My neurosurgeon stopped at one point to let me listen to what nerve damage sounds like. It all just sounded like broken static to me, but apparently that told him something.
Anyways, I hope your test goes well, that it hurts way, way less than you imagine, and definitely that it helps you and your doctors improve your treatment plan and make everyday better for you.