Electromyography is a technique for evaluating and recording the electrical activity produced by muscles and is used to determine the causes of numbness, tingling, pain, weakness, fatigue, and muscle cramping. EMG includes nerve conduction studies and needle electromyography.
I have undergone specialized medical training to maximize my ability to determine the appropriate differential diagnoses in planning and performing the electrodiagnostic examination as well as subsequent treatment. I use this information to assist the referring physicians in establishing diagnoses, determining prognoses, and assisting in proper management.
I have over ten years experience in electrodiagnostic medicine. I am board certified with the American Board of Electrodiagnostic Medicine (one of the few specialists in the region to have this certification).
An EMG examination usually lasts between 60 and 90 minutes. There are no restrictions on activity before or after the testing, and there are no lasting after-effects.
Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS)
NCS test how well signals travel along a nerve and can help find the cause of abnormal nerve function. Signals are made to travel along the nerve by applying small electric pulses to the nerve at one site and recording the response at a different place along the nerve. The small electric pulses cause a short, mild tingling feeling. The nerve's response is picked up by a recording instrument and is then measured by the physician performing the test. Several nerves may need to be tested, depending on the type of problem.
During the needle EMG portion of the examination, I insert a small needle into a muscle to record its electrical activity. This is fed into the recording instrument, which I then analyze by looking at a signal on the scope and listening to the sounds the activity makes through the speaker. This test can help determine if there are abnormalities in the muscle or the nerve going to it.
There may be mild discomfort when the needle is inserted into the muscle. Needles are discarded after use prevent the transmission of infections.
You should inform the physician prior to the examination if you are on blood thinners or have hemophilia. The physician should also be informed if you have a cardiac pacemaker. Avoid using skin lotions the day of the test.