Electromyography is a technique for evaluating and recording the electrical activity produced by skeletal muscles. EMG is performed using an instrument called an electromyograph to produce a record called an electromyogram.
Electromyography (EMG) is a diagnostic treatment to assess the health of muscles and the nerve cells that manage them (motor nerve cells). EMG outcomes can reveal nerve dysfunction, muscle dysfunction or problems with nerve-to-muscle signal transmission.
Motor nerve cells send electrical signals that cause muscles to contract. An EMG uses tiny devices called electrodes to equate these signals into graphs, sounds or mathematical values that are then translated by an expert.
During a needle EMG, a needle electrode inserted straight into a muscle records the electrical activity in that muscle.
A nerve conduction study, another part of an EMG, uses electrode stickers applied to the skin (surface area electrodes) to measure the speed and strength of signals traveling in between two or more points.
Your doctor may order an EMG if you have signs or symptoms that may indicate a nerve or muscle disorder. Such symptoms may include:
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• Muscle disorders, such as muscular dystrophy or polymyositis
• Diseases affecting the connection between the nerve and the muscle, such as myasthenia gravis
• Disorders of nerves outside the spinal cord (peripheral nerves), such as carpal tunnel syndrome or peripheral neuropathies
• Disorders that affect the motor neurons in the brain or spinal cord, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or polio
• Disorders that affect the nerve root, such as a herniated disk in the spine