What is an EMG?
Electromyography (EMG) testing is a diagnostic tool used to assess nerve and muscle function. An EMG test can determine the extent of nerve and muscle injury and identify the location of the injury.
The EMG testing consists of two parts: a nerve conduction study and a needle EMG exam for muscle testing. During the nerve conduction study, small electric impulses stimulate the nerves at various points to assess their function. The needle EMG exam involves inserting a very fine needle with microscopic electrodes into several muscles to detect normal and abnormal electrical signals given off by the muscle. Both elements are usually performed together.
EMG testing can help diagnose a range of conditions, including carpal tunnel syndrome, pinched nerve, radiculopathy, sciatica, neuropathies, muscle diseases, muscular dystrophy, ALS, and myasthenia gravis. Your physician may order an EMG test if you experience numbness, decreased sensation, tingling, pins and needles sensation, radiating pain, weakness, or difficulty performing daily tasks.
The duration of the test usually ranges from 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the condition being tested and the results of the study. While EMG testing may cause some discomfort, it is usually well-tolerated without the need for pain medication. The test is extremely safe, but you should inform your provider if you take blood thinners or have a pacemaker or implanted defibrillator.
At our clinic, EMG testing is performed with the utmost care and attention to ensure our clients receive an accurate diagnosis. After the test, a report containing the results and interpretation will be sent to your physician. If you have any questions or concerns about the EMG testing process, our team of experts will be happy to assist you.