Electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies are an extension of the physical examination. They can be useful in aiding in the diagnosis of peripheral nerve and muscle problems. This can include peripheral neuropathies, entrapment neuropathies, radiculopathies, and muscle disorders. Neurologists advise them in case patient has tingling, paresthesias, numbness, weakness, muscle pain, radiating pain. They may be advised when following are suspected:
- Guillain-Barre syndrome
- Carpel Tunnel Syndrome and other entrapment neuropathies
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Mononeuropathy Multiplex
- Motor Neuron Disease/ALS
- Myopathy – polymyositis/dermatomyositis
- Muscular Dystrophy
EMG, involves testing the electrical activity of muscles recorded as graph. A needle is inserted in the muscle and patient may be asked to contract the muscle as required.
How the test will feel
There may be some discomfort with insertion of the needle electrodes (similar to an intramuscular injection). Afterward, the muscle may feel tender or bruised for few days.
- Disposable needles are used so there is no risk of infection.
- A very low risk of pneumothorax in case of study of muscles of chest and back has been noted.
- Dress in clothes that permit access to the area to be tested or that are easily removed. You may need to roll your sleeves up past your elbow and/or your pant legs up past your knee.
- Come with your skin clean and do not apply lotions or other products on your skin.
- Eat, sleep and take medications as usual, unless instructed otherwise by Neurologist.
- Inform if using a blood thinners (e.g. aspirin/clopidogrel/warfarin/ Acenocoumarol), if you are suffering from bleeding disorder/hemophilia, have a skin infection