What is Electromyography?
Electromyography (EMG) is a diagnostic procedure that evaluates the muscle response to electrical impulses from the nerves that control them, called motor neurons. The test is used to help detect neuromuscular abnormalities. It is usually performed after a nerve conduction study.
During the test, one or more small needles (also called electrodes) are inserted through the skin into the muscle. It is usually painless. The electrical activity that is picked up by the electrodes is displayed on an oscilloscope (a monitor that displays electrical activity in the form of waves). An audio-amplifier is used so the activity can be heard. EMG measures the electrical activity of muscle during rest, slight contraction and forceful contraction.
An EMG is performed when someone is showing symptoms of a muscle or nerve disorder. These symptoms may include tingling, numbness, or unexplained weakness in the limbs. EMG results can help the doctors at Prestige Pain center diagnose muscle disorders, nerve disorders, and disorders affecting the connection between nerves and muscles.
EMG’s will be done if you’re experiencing symptoms that may indicate a muscle or nerve disorder such as:
- muscle weakness
- muscle pain or cramping
- involuntary muscle twitching (or tics)
The results of an EMG can help your doctor determine the underlying cause of these symptoms.
- muscle disorders, such as muscular dystrophy
- disorders that affect the ability of the motor neuron to send electrical chemical signals to the muscle, such as myasthenia gravis
- peripheral nerve disorders that affect the nerves outside the spinal cord, such as carpal tunnel syndrome
- nerve disorders, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
Consult with a pain management doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.