An electromyography, or EMG, is a diagnostic procedure that can assess the health of one’s muscles and the nerve cells that control them, known as motor neurons. These neurons transmit electrical signals that cause the muscles in the body to contract. An EMG takes these signals and forms them into graphs, numerical values and sounds to assist specialists in better determining the condition of a patient.
EMGs use tiny devices called electrodes to transmit and detect these electrical signals. During the procedure, the electrode is inserted into a muscle to record the electrical activity going on within it. A nerve conduction study (NCS), which is another part of the EMG, uses electrodes taped to the skin to measure signals that are traveling between two or several points of a certain part of the body. Results from an EMG usually reveal muscle and nerve dysfunctions or nerve-to-muscle signal transmissions.
Why It’s Done
EMGs are typically conducted if one shows symptoms of nerve and muscle disorders. These can include:
- Muscle weakness, cramping or pain
- Specific types of pain in the limbs
The results of an EMG can be used to diagnose a variety of conditions that include:
- Disorders involving motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord like polio and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Diseases affecting muscle and nerve connections, such as myasthenia gravis
- Herniated disks and other nerve root disorders
- Muscular dystrophy, polymyositis and other muscle disorders
- Peripheral neuropathies, carpal tunnel syndrome and other similar disorders involving the nerves outside of the spinal cord
Helping You Determine Your Condition
Our specialists use state-of-the-art equipment and groundbreaking procedures to determine various conditions involving muscle and nerve health. Through your referral, we’ll do our best to find out what’s ailing you.