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EMG

Services / Nuero Physiology / EMG



EMG (Electromyogram)

An electromyogram (EMG) is a test that is used to record the electrical activity of muscles. When muscles are active, they produce an electrical current. This current is usually proportional to the level of the muscle activity. An EMG is also referred to as a myogram.EMGs can be used to detect abnormal electrical activity of muscle that can occur in many diseases and conditions, including muscular dystrophy, inflammation of muscles, pinched nerves, peripheral nerve damage (damage to nerves in the arms and legs), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), myasthenia gravis, disc herniation, and others.

Frequently Asked Questions

Electromyography (EMG) measures muscle response or electrical activity in response to a nerve's stimulation of the muscle. The test is used to help detect neuromuscular abnormalities. During the test, one or more small needles (also called electrodes) are inserted through the skin into the muscle.
Some people ask "is an EMG test painful?" There are actually two parts to EMG testing and both may result in some discomfort, but they are usually well tolerated without any need for pain medication. In most cases, your doctor will perform both elements, but in some situations, only one or the other may be done.
You will not be able to drive for about 24 hours if you had sedation because you will still be drowsy. You will need a ride home from your procedure, and someone should stay with you for the first day.
EMG results are often necessary to help diagnose or rule out a number of conditions like - Muscle disorders, such as muscular dystrophy or polymyositis. Diseases affecting the connection between the nerve and the muscle, such as myasthenia gravis.
  • Avoid smoking for at least three hours before the procedure.
  • Bathe or take a shower to remove any oils from the skin. Don't apply any lotions or creams after washing.
  • Wear comfortable clothing that doesn't obstruct the area that your doctor will be evaluating.
EMG and NCS are tests that measure the electrical activity of the muscles and nerves of the body, usually to an arm or a leg. The tests can help identify nerve injury or muscle disease such as carpal tunnel syndrome, a pinched spinal nerve, peripheral neuropathy, myositis, or ALS.

120 mm

Some muscles, such as the deep paraspinal muscles, may be difficult to reach without a long needle, even in average-sized patients. Needles of up to 120 mm length should be available and should be used in such circumstances.
Your healthcare provider will tell you what medicines to take or not take on the day of your test. You may need to stop taking blood thinners, NSAIDs, and aspirin 24 hours before the test. Do not have caffeine or smoke for 2 to 3 hours before the test. Do not apply lotions or creams to your skin on the day of the test.
Do not eat or drink foods that contain caffeine (such as coffee, tea, cola, and chocolate) for 2 to 3 hours before the test. Wear loose-fitting clothing so your muscles and nerves can be tested. You may be given a hospital gown to wear. Take a shower or bath before your exam to remove oils from your skin.
Risks. EMG tests carry minimal risk of severe complications or side effects. However, many people do experience muscle pain during or after a needle EMG. Resting and taking over-the-counter pain relievers can help relieve muscle pain faster, but this side effect usually resolves on its own within a few days.
Certain drugs that act on the nervous system (such as muscle relaxants) can interfere with electromyography results. You may need to stop taking these three to six days before the test. Have had bleeding problems or are taking blood thinning drugs.
An EMG can be used to diagnose a wide variety of neuromuscular diseases, motor problems, nerve injuries, or degenerative conditions, such as:
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Cervical spondylitis.
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome.
  • Lambert-Eaton syndrome.
  • Muscular dystrophy.
  • Myasthenia gravis.