When symptoms such as pain, muscle weakness, and tingling arise, you may need EMG and nerve conduction testing to determine the underlying problem. Arun Kandra, MD, and Vivek Das, MD, at Premier Spine & Pain Management have extensive experience performing diagnostic testing to get to the specific cause of your symptoms. If you have questions about your symptoms or would like to schedule an appointment, call one of the offices in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, or book an appointment online. The practice has locations in Easton, Pennsylvania, and Somerset, Hillsborough, Succasunna, and Middletown, New Jersey.
EMG Q & A
What is electromyography (EMG)?
EMG is a diagnostic test that evaluates the health of your muscles and the nerves that send electrical signals responsible for triggering muscle contraction. An EMG includes two types of tests: a nerve conduction study and a needle EMG.
What is a needle EMG?
A needle EMG provides information about a muscle’s ability to respond to electrical impulses from nerves. During a needle EMG, your doctor at Premier Spine & Pain Management uses a fine needle as an electrode.
After inserting the needle into the muscle being tested, your doctor gives you instructions for using the muscle. The needle picks up electrical activity as the muscle contracts, which is used to diagnose underlying problems.
What is a nerve conduction study?
A nerve conduction study shows how fast electrical impulses travel through a nerve. Your doctor at Premier Spine & Pain Management places sensors, called surface electrodes, on the surface of your skin along the path of the nerve being tested.
Your doctor places an electrode at one end of the nerve and uses it to send a mild electrical impulse. One or more electrodes placed along the nerve record the electrical activity as it travels down the nerve.
This information is used to calculate the speed of the electrical impulse between electrodes and determine whether you have conduction problems in the nerve.
Why might I need an EMG?
Your doctor at Premier Spine & Pain Management may use an EMG to evaluate unexplained muscle weakness, muscle twitching, or paralysis. An EMG can also target the cause of symptoms such as pain, numbness, and tingling.
With the information from an EMG, your doctor can discern whether a disorder originates in the muscle or is caused by a nerve problem. An EMG also shows whether muscle weakness is caused by an inherent muscle problem or because pain has resulted in limited muscle use.
EMG results are used to diagnose problems such as:
- Muscle disorders
- Diseases affecting the connection between nerves and muscles
- Disorders affecting the spinal nerve roots
- Disorders of peripheral nerves (outside the spinal cord)
- Disorders affecting motor nerves in the spinal cord or brain
These conditions cause pain, tingling, muscle weakness, muscle spasms, restricted movement, and other symptoms, depending on the disease and the area affected. If you experience any of these symptoms, call Premier Spine & Pain Management or book an appointment online.