Electromyography (EMG) results can reveal muscle and nerve dysfunction.
It uses electrodes to translate motor neuron signals into graphs interpreted by a medical specialist. A physician can order and EMG for patients with symptoms of nerve or muscle disorders. Symptoms can be serious pain with limbs or muscles.
EMG results can diagnose whether a patient has muscular dystrophy.
It can help doctors detect spinal cord disorders that include polio or sclerosis. An EMG can detect a herniated disk in the spine. An EMG is considered a procedure with relatively no risk to the patient. The only exception is the risk of bleeding or infection where needle electrodes are inserted.
Patients change into hospital gowns before the procedure begins. The technician will position surface electrodes at various areas of the body while the patient lies on the examination table. They may use needle electrodes in various areas depending on the patient’s symptoms. Slight pain could be felt during the EMG where needle electrodes are positioned.
The technician will give the patient instructions on contracting and relaxing muscles at various times during the procedure. The test helps the neurologist determine electrical activity when the muscles are at rest and contracted. Temporary bruising may be noticeable where needle electrodes were positioned during testing. An appointment to discuss the test results with the patient will be necessary after the neurologist has interpreted the results.