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How is pain from an EMG nerve test treated?

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Quick Answer

To treat pain after an electromyogram, or EMG, test, WebMD suggests pressing an ice pack on the aching region for 10 to 20 minutes with a thin cloth placed between the ice and the skin. It also helps to take naproxen, ibuprofen, acetaminophen or another over-the-counter pain reliever.

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Full Answer

An EMG test involves inserting a needle electrode into a muscle and recording the muscle's electrical activity when it is at rest and contracting, explains WebMD. The doctor sometimes transfers the needle electrode to record the electrical activity in various parts of the muscle or different muscles.

People usually feel a brief, sharp pain when the needle electrode is inserted into a muscle during an EMG test, notes WebMD. It is common to experience soreness and a tingling sensation in the muscle for up to two days. Persistent pain or the presence of pus, tenderness or swelling at the needle sites requires medical attention.

While it is possible to experience mild bruises or swelling at the needle sites, an EMG test is generally safe and is very unlikely to cause an infection, states WebMD. This test helps doctors identify diseases that affect nerves, muscle tissue or the areas where nerves and muscles meet. It also allows doctors to determine the cause of symptoms like muscle twitching, paralysis and weakness.

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