An electromyography (EMG) is a diagnosis and screening test that measures the responsiveness of nerve stimulation of the muscle using electrical activity. This procedure is ideal for patients looking to test for neuropathy and other nerve-related conditions. This diagnostic test captures information and documents the signals onto graphs. This in turn helps doctors make an official diagnosis based on the data.
At BEST, we understand that muscle weakness and nerve disorders can be debilitating and confusing so it’s critical to begin the process of testing and care.
What is an Electromyography
An EMG exam measures the muscular response or electrical activity in response to nerve stimulation of the muscle. During the test, one or more small needles (also called electrodes) are inserted through the skin and into the muscle.
The electrical activity picked up by the electrodes is then displayed on an oscilloscope (a monitor that displays electrical activity in the form of waves). An audio amplifier is used so the activity can be heard. Muscle electrical activity during rest, slight contraction, and forceful contraction are measured by EMG.
Muscle tissue does not normally produce electrical signals during rest. When an electrode is inserted, a brief period of activity can be seen on the oscilloscope, but after that, no signal should be present.
What to Expect
If a patient is recommended for an EMG, they will need to follow specific instructions before it is done. During the study, the surface electrodes transmit tiny electrical currents. This will cause a patient to feel a twinge or spasm. The needle electrode can also cause mild discomfort but usually ends after removal.
During the EMG, a neurologist will assess whether there is any spontaneous electrical activity while the muscle is at rest as well as the degree of activity when muscles are slightly contracted. The patient will be given instructions on resting and contracting the muscle at appropriate times. Depending on the muscles being examined, the neurologist may ask you to change positions during the exam. If you have any questions or concerns about the procedure, feel free to discuss them with your neurologist.
Following the EMG, the neurologist will interpret the results and prepare a report. A follow-up appointment will be scheduled with your doctor to discuss the results.
Electromyography at BEST
Patients at BEST Health System have access to a variety of health services including electromyography. In addition to these services, we offer a range of other options of treatment such as conservative treatment, therapies, surgical procedures, pain management, and diagnostic imaging services.
If you are recommended for an electromyography diagnostics test to check the response of your nerve stimulation of the muscles, BEST can help. If you require further care for neuropathy systems or nerve treatment BEST offers an array of services performed by our board-certified surgeons. Our minimally invasive procedures typically employ an incision that is less than an inch. This allows for a faster recovery, eliminated the need for an overnight hospital stay, and reduces overall risks and complications.
To learn more about what BEST has to offer, feel free to contact us today!