An electromyogram (EMG) is a valuable form of diagnostic technology that can aid the diagnosis of nerve-related disorders. If you need to undergo EMG studies, the experts at Restorative Physical Medicine in Livonia and Novi, Michigan, provide state-of-the-art facilities for EMG and nerve conduction velocity (NCV) testing. Call Restorative Physical Medicine today or schedule an appointment using the online booking form.
What is an EMG?
An EMG, or electromyogram, is a type of electrodiagnostic medicine used to assess and treat nerve dysfunction. The EMG device measures the electrical signals in your muscles, which tells your doctor if any of your nerves are faulty.
The EMG test involves having small needles inserted into specific points in your muscles. The EMG device then records the electrical activity generated in these parts of your body and creates a graph for the doctor to assess.
When you have an EMG test, it’s usual to have NCV tests at the same time. In an NCV test, your provider uses precisely calibrated electrical currents to stimulate specific nerves. This produces an analysis of the speed and efficiency of your nerve responses.
How do EMG studies help to diagnose nerve problems?
EMG studies identify the nerves that are causing your symptoms. When your nerves are functioning properly, they relay messages from your central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) to tell your muscles how to behave.
Some of these instructions are a response to your plan to carry out a specific activity, like going for a run or washing your hair. Others are involuntary, meaning they happen automatically, like digestion and breathing. All of these messages use electricity, which the EMG device can measure.
Every message from your central nervous system to your nerves, and then from your nerves to your muscles, uses electricity, so measuring the speed and strength of the electrical activity can help pinpoint the cause of your nerve condition.
What symptoms do nerve problems cause?
If you have problems with your nerves, they might stop working, causing numbness and loss of feeling. You may feel weak or be unable to use your muscles at all in some cases. Other symptoms include:
- Pins-and-needles sensation
Another common nerve problem is pain, which can develop even when there’s no tissue damage. It occurs simply because the nerves are malfunctioning. The doctors at Restorative Physical Medicine carry out EMG studies to help identify the causes of these symptoms.
What might the results of EMG studies show?
EMG studies can help your doctor diagnose a wide variety of nerve-related conditions, including:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Herniated discs
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Pinched nerves
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease
- Myasthenia gravis
- Muscular dystrophy
The Restorative Physical Medicine team uses state-of-the-art EMG and NCV testing to provide the most accurate, detailed results. To find out more, call the practice today or book an appointment online.