An electromyography (EMG) is used to help diagnose nerve or muscle disorders. Electrodiagnostic exams typically consist of two distinct tests: a needle electromyogram to assess nerve activity within the muscles, and a nerve conduction study that evaluates the motor neurons controlling muscle movement.
EMG testing and other diagnostic neurology services.
The nerve conduction study is usually the first portion of the EMG, and uses small sensors on the surface of the skin. This study allows us to measure the motor neurons’ ability to send out electrical signals to other parts of the body. The needle EMG is typically the second portion of the test and uses electrodes that are inserted into the muscle tissue to evaluate muscle activity. The entire EMG process usually takes between 30 and 60 minutes.
Neurologists may recommend an EMG if you’re experiencing symptoms of a neurological disorder, such as:
- Arm or leg pain
- Muscle cramps or spasms
- ParalysisTingling, numbness, or weakness in the limbs
EMGs are used to diagnose (or rule out) the following conditions:
- Muscular dystrophy
- Peripheral nerve disorders
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Herniated discs and other spinal conditions
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Myasthenia gravis
If an EMG detects electrical activity in a muscle at rest, a neurologist may attribute it to a muscle condition, which is a disorder involving the nerves that connect to the muscle, or another form of soft tissue injury. If the electrical activity is detected while the muscle is contracted, a nerve disorder is more likely the cause.
EMG testing is performed by our experienced neurologists, who specialize in diagnosing and treating these kinds of conditions using a comprehensive range of therapies. To learn more about EMG testing at our Department of Neurology, contact us today.
Angel R. Gonzalez, MDgonzalez
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