Electromyogram - EMG

This is a recording of a muscle's electrical activity. It is also known as an EMG.

This is a recording of a muscle's electrical activity.  It is also known as an EMG.

An electromyogram, or EMG, is a recording of a muscle's electrical activity.

  • An EMG is frequently done with nerve conduction studies.
  • The two studies are often done together to evaluate a muscle and the nerves that control it.
  • By performing these studies, conditions that affect the muscles and/or nerves can be more accurately diagnosed.

During an EMG, very thin needles with electrodes are inserted into the muscle being tested.

  • The needles measure the electrical activity in the muscle and transmit the information to a computer.
  • The waveforms can be seen on a monitor or heard through computer speakers.
  • A complete EMG includes the test, the doctor's interpretation, and the written report.

An EMG may be done in a doctor's office, EMG lab, or hospital.

  • There is usually no special preparation for an EMG. However, you should avoid using creams or lotions on the day of the test.
  • Ask your healthcare provider which regular medications you should take on the day of your test. Do not stop taking any medications unless instructed to do so.
  • Let your healthcare provider know if you have a pacemaker, take medication that thins your blood or have a clotting disorder (hemophilia).
  • After the needles are inserted, you will be asked to lie still. A lot of movement can affect the test results.
  • There can be some pain or discomfort when the needles are inserted. Usually the discomfort is minor and does not prevent most people from finishing the test.

What should I ask my healthcare provider before having this test?

  • What is the reason for the test? Will the test results change my treatment plan? If not, do I need the test?
  • Is there any other special preparation for the test? (If so, get clear instructions on what you need to do.)
  • What conditions or circumstances can alter the test results? Under what circumstances will I need to have the test repeated?

After your EMG, you should understand home care instructions (including medications and side effects), follow-up plans and symptoms to report to your healthcare provider.

Source UHC.com

Also known as:

Neuromuscular Disease
Muscle Wave Recording
Muscle Electrical Activity
Electromyogram - EMG

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