EMG Test: Purpose, Procedure, Risk Factors, Cost
Electromyography (EMG) is a diagnostic procedure performed using an instrument called an electromyograph to record and evaluate the electrical activity produced by the skeletal muscles.
The results produced by the electromyograph are called electromyograms. This record is generally represented in the form of numbers or graphs, helping a neurosurgeon make a diagnosis.
It is an outpatient procedure so the person need not stay overnight at the hospital; that is, the patients are allowed to go home the same day after the completion of the testing procedure.
The results of electromyography can reveal various troubles like nerve dysfunction, muscle dysfunction, or disorder with nerve-to-muscle signal transmission. Doctors may order a patient to undergo EMG when he or she experiences various symptoms such as tingling, or unexplained weakness in the limbs.
Why is electromyography (EMG) performed?
Doctors may perform electromyography if a person shows various symptoms which may
indicate an indicating order.
These symptoms may include:
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle pain or cramping
- Involuntary muscle twitching
The possible causes of these symptoms can be determined by the doctors include:
- Muscular disorders such as muscle dystrophy
- Diseases like myasthenia gravis affect motor neurons to propagate the electric signal to muscles
- Peripheral nerve disorders like carpal tunnel syndrome which affects the nerve outside the spinal cord
- Disorders such as polio or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Risk factors in Electromyography (EMG) Test
Electromyography is as safe a procedure as possible with rare complications. But there might be bruising, bleeding,swelling, infection and/or a needle injury where a needle electrode is inserted. During a needle EMG, there is very little risk of causing pneumothorax (a condition in which air is leaked into the areas between lungs) as muscles are examined by using needle electrodes.
Risk factors in Electromyography (EMG)
Electromyography is as safe a procedure as possible with rare complications. But there might be bruising, bleeding, swelling, infection, and/or a needle injury where a needle electrode is inserted.
During a needle EMG, there is very little risk of causing pneumothorax (a condition in which air is leaked into the areas between lungs) as muscles are examined by using needle electrodes.
How to prepare for an Electromyography (EMG)?
The person getting done an EMG must follow some basic rules while undergoing electromyography:
- Avoid smoking and consumption of alcohol before going for an EMG.
- Take a shower to remove oils and creams from the skin.
- Don’t apply any lotions on the skin after washing.
- Wear loose and comfortable clothes while going for the test.
- Doctors may ask the patient not to take any medicines before the test.
- The patient must notify their doctor if they have a pacemaker or implantable defibrillator.
- Avoid drinks & foodstuffs containing a high percentage of caffeine at least 2-3 hours before the test.
What happens during the Electromyography (EMG)?
The person undergoing electromyography will be asked to lie down in different positions on the examination table or on the reclining chair. The nerve conduction study and the needle EMG are the 2 important components of an EMG test.
Doctors perform nerve conduction studies as the first step of the procedure; in this, small sensors called surface electrodes are placed on the skin (usually on the areas where the person is experiencing symptoms) to evaluate the potential of the motor neuron to propagate signals.
A needle EMG is performed as the second step of the procedure and uses electrodes to assess the signals.
The needle electrodes are directly inserted into the muscle tissue to evaluate muscle activity. It takes around 30-60 minutes to complete both parts of the EMG procedure.
Understanding the results of the Electromyography (EMG)
Neurologists after the test will interpret and review the test results. They will then discuss the test results and recommend additional tests or treatments that might be needed to diagnose and improve the patient’s health status.
The test results of electromyography (EMG) are considered normal if the muscle tissue is electrically inactive during the resting phase.
Any abnormal electrical activity shown in the electromyography may be a sign of herniated disc or nerve disorders such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Any electrical activity in the resting muscles shown in the electromyography can be indicative of the following:
- Muscle disorder
- Inflammation caused by injury
- Disorder of the nerves (which connects the nerve to the muscles)
The neurologist will prepare the report as per the EMG test and write a summary for your doctor. If the test reports indicate neuromuscular disorder or a damaged nerve, you will be referred to a specialist for treatment.
Neurologists at Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre, Nehru Nagar, and Ghaziabad are experts in diagnosing and treating all major and minor types of neuromuscular or nerve disorders with great accuracy and care.
Yes, the electromyography (EMG) test will not solve the muscle or nerve problem of the patient; in fact, this test will provide a basic idea to the doctors about how to treat the symptoms of the disease to make you feel better. Book an appointment at Yashoda Hospital for EMG test and get the best consultation by our highly experienced doctors.