ELECTROMYOGRAPHY (EMG) AND NERVE CONDUCTION STUDIES
Electromyography (EMG) is a diagnostic procedure to assess the health of muscles and the nerve cells that control them (motor neurons). In essence the test looks for evidence of nerve or muscle injury. Motor neurons transmit electrical signals that cause muscles to contract. An EMG translates these signals into sounds and numerical values that the physician interprets. The entire study is a combination of two tests. The first part is the nerve conduction studies and consists of a small stimulation to various nerves where the speed and the strength of the nerve response are recorded using an electrode taped in the skin. The second part is the EMG where a very small needle is inserted into one muscle at a time while electrical activity within that muscle is recorded.
Your doctor may order an EMG if you have signs or symptoms that may indicate a nerve or muscle disorder. Such symptoms may include:
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle pain or cramping
- Certain types of limb pain
EMG results are often necessary to help diagnose or rule out a number of conditions such as:
- Muscle disorders, such as muscular dystrophy or polymyositis
- Diseases affecting the connection between the nerve and the muscle, such as myasthenia gravis
- Disorders of nerves outside the spinal cord (peripheral nerves), such as carpal tunnel syndrome or peripheral neuropathies
- Disorders that affect the motor neurons in the brain or spinal cord, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or polio
- Disorders that affect the nerve root, such as a herniated disk in the spine
At Rehabilitation Consultants EMG and nerve conduction studies are done by a board certified physician with extensive experience in the diagnose of neuromuscular and musculoskeletal disease.