Electromyography, often referred to as an EMG, is a diagnostic tool used to detect neuromuscular problems that cause pain, tingling, weakness, and spasms. If you experience these issues, your doctor will likely request an EMG to get a clearer picture of what could be causing your symptoms.
The results of an EMG can provide useful information about the health of your motor neurons and muscle function. An EMG can detect movement problems, nerve compression, nerve injuries, and muscle degeneration.
How an EMG Works
The motor neurons in your body produce electrical signals, and the muscles contract in response. An EMG will be able to detect your body’s neuromuscular response to stimulation. During the test, you will be asked to contract your muscles through certain movements.
An EMG may be done by inserting tiny electrodes through your skin into the muscle. These electrodes will then provide information to an oscilloscope, which records your neuromuscular electrical activity as waves, graphs, or sounds on the monitor.
An EMG can also be performed using electrodes, which are stickers that are placed on the surface of the skin. This will measure the speed at which your muscles respond to the electrical signals from the motor neurons.
Normal Results from an EMG
Normal EMG results will appear as no electrical activity while at rest. It means your muscles are healthy and normal. Your muscles also react normally to stimulation, in a smooth pattern.
Abnormal EMG Results
An abnormal EMG result will present a bizarre pattern, with strange wave shapes. There is electrical activity even while at rest, and the electrical activity (produced by motor neurons) is abnormal during contraction of a muscle.
Abnormal results indicate nerve dysfunction, muscle injury, or muscle disorders. Examples of these include a pinched nerve (such as in carpal tunnel syndrome), stiff muscles, peripheral neuropathy, and muscular dystrophy. Other conditions that can be diagnosed through an EMG include amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease; myasthenia gravis; polymyositis; and sciatica.
The information provided by an EMG and nerve conduction study helps your doctor make a clinical diagnosis and create a treatment plan to address your health condition. It is the first step toward proper treatment and is very useful in diagnosis and monitoring.
On-Site EMG Testing in Central Maryland
At The Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics Spine Care, we offer EMG testing right here at our offices for your convenience and peace of mind. You will receive a quick diagnosis and begin treatment as quickly as possible. It is our goal to provide relief to patients who are suffering from the pain and discomfort of muscle and nerve disorders.
For over 40 years, our board-certified surgeons have been offering the best and most state-of-the-art treatments to our patients. We always explain the various options available to the patient so they can make their own decisions about their treatment.
To schedule a consultation with one of our skilled orthopedic physicians, call our friendly staff at The Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics Spine Care today at (410) 644-1880 or (855) 4MD-BONE (463-2663), or request an appointment via our online form now. We look forward to serving you.