Electromyogram (EMG)

What Is It?

An electromyogram (EMG) is a neurological test, usually performed by a neurologist, which evaluates the responses of muscles and the nerves that supply them. It is performed by inserting small needles into various muscles that act as stimulating and recording electrodes. Through these electrodes the muscle is stimulated and the EMG can record the responses that occur in the muscle.

An EMG is often performed along with a nerve conduction study as part of a neurological assessment for various diseases that affect the muscles and/or nervous system.

What Is It Used For?

The EMG provides the physician with information about the functioning of both the muscle and the nerves that supply that muscle. This can be used to help diagnose various diseases that affect these structures. For example, EMG may be used as part of the work-up for diseases of the muscle such as muscular dystrophies. Additionally, along with a nerve conduction study, it may be used to evaluate disease of the peripheral nerves such as peripheral nerve tumors, neuropathies, traumatic nerve injuries, nerve entrapments (such as carpal tunnel syndrome) and various diseases of the spine which involve the nerves as the enter or leave the spinal cord.

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Important Note: This site is not intended to offer medical advice. Every patient is different, and only your personal physician can help to counsel you about what is best for your situation. What we offer is general reference information about various disorders and treatments for your education.

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