What Is EMG Testing?

EMG testingMuscle injuries and nerve damage can leave you with serious pain and hamper your mobility, but modern technology has made it easier to detect and treat problems. Find out more about EMG testing below:

What is it used for?

EMG stands for electromyography—a type of testing that is used to evaluate nerve and muscle function. EMG testing makes it possible to pinpoint the precise location of an injury and evaluate how serious the damage is.

How does it work?

There are two parts of EMG testing: nerve conduction testing and muscle testing.

Nerve conduction testing involves stimulating nerves with small electric shocks to artificially activate the nerves and measure function.

Muscle testing uses very small needles that are inserted into several muscles. The needles pick up on normal and abnormal electrical signals.

When is it used?

EMG testing can be used to diagnose a variety of issues including Lou Gehrig’s disease, myasthenia gravis, muscular dystrophy, pinched nerves, carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica, and more.

Your doctor may suggest EMG testing if you’re experiencing numbness, radiating pain, a burning sensation, tingling, or decreased sensation.

What should you expect?

EMG testing is a very safe way to diagnose a variety of problems. In most cases the test requires no special preparation on your part, but if you are taking blood thinners, have a defibrillator or pacemaker, or are taking anticoagulation medicine you should notify your doctor ahead of time. EMG testing is often performed by a neurologist or physiatrist who has been specially trained. The procedure may be a little bit uncomfortable, but most patients do not need medication to manage the discomfort. EMG testing usually only takes 30-90 minutes and while patients may feel slightly sore afterward, the soreness usually goes away quickly.  After the test has been performed a report will be prepared to explain and interpret the results. These results will be shared with your doctor and a treatment plan can be prepared.

If you’d like to learn more about EMG testing and other tools for healing nerve damage and muscle injuries schedule a consultation at Action Sports Medicine & Pain Management.

Posted in: Neuropathy