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Maranatha Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Provides EMG Testing
What is EMG Testing?
An Electromyography (EMG) test measures muscle response or electrical activity in response to a nerve’s stimulation of the muscle.
When muscles are active, they will produce an electrical current that is typically proportional to the level of the muscle activity. EMG tests are also referred to as myograms.
What is the Goal of EMG Testing?
Generally, an EMG test is used to detect the abnormal electrical activity of muscles that may be related to a condition or disease, such as muscular dystrophy, inflammation, pinched nerves, disc herniation, peripheral nerve damage, and many others.
An EMG test is usually required when patients are experiencing an unexplainable muscle weakness. The test will help distinguish between muscle conditions and determine if the problem is in the muscle or is a nerve disorder. It also helps detect if the weakness is due to pain or a lack of motivation. Another reason EMG tests are used is to isolate the level of injury or nerve irritation.
What Does EMG Testing Involve?
An intramuscular EMG test will involve a needle being inserted through the skin. The needle will detect the electrical activity as it serves as an electrode. On an oscilloscope, the activity is visually displayed and you may also be able to hear the activity. Several needles may be needed to display various locations of key EMG information. A patient may need to contract a muscle such as bending the knee.
The size, shape, and presence of the wave may provide information about a patient’s ability to respond to nervous stimulation. Each muscle fiber that contracts produces an action potential. Additionally, the size of the muscle fiber may affect the rate and size of the action.
What Should I Expect from an EMG Test?
Before the procedure: There are no requirements to prepare for the test; however, we will explain the procedure and answer your questions so that you are well informed and feel prepared. We recommend restricting coffee, cigarettes, tea, soda, and other caffeinated beverages up to three hours before the test.
During the test: Many people are often concerned with the level of discomfort or pain that they will experience. There is some discomfort when the needle electrodes are inserted. However, they feel similar to a shot and not much worse.
After the procedure: You may also experience soreness in the days following the test. If the pain increases or you experience swelling, tenderness, or bruises, contact us right away. We may need to provide you with additional care.