EMG

Link Neuroscience Institute

Neurology & Neurosurgery located in Oxnard, CA & Santa Barbara, CA

An EMG (electromyogram) measures the electrical signals that instruct your muscles to move. These signals come from your nerves, so analyzing them can help determine if any of your nerves aren't functioning properly. Link Neuroscience Institute in Oxnard and Santa Barbara, California, uses EMG as part of a suite of sophisticated diagnostic tools. To find out more about EMG testing and how it could benefit you, call Link Neuroscience Institute today or book an appointment online.

EMG Q & A

What is EMG?

EMG (electromyography) is an electrodiagnostic technology that Link Neuroscience Institute uses to help with the diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of patients with symptoms of nerve dysfunction.

To perform an EMG, your provider at Link Neuroscience Institute inserts very thin needles into specific areas of your muscles. The electromyography device records the electrical signals received by your muscles and produces a printout that your provider can analyze.

In most cases, your provider performs nerve conduction velocity (NCV) tests at the same time as your EMG. In this test, they use electrical currents to trigger a nerve response, then measure the speed at which the nerves react.

What happens when I have an EMG?

An EMG is a straightforward test that doesn't require any anesthetic or sedative. Your skin just needs to be clean and free of any lotions or creams.

Your provider at Link Neuroscience Institute inserts thin, sterile needles into each muscle that they're examining, which can be a little uncomfortable. The needle electrodes detect electrical activity in the muscles at rest and when they contract and send the information to an oscilloscope. This device displays the electrical signals as waves.

An EMG typically takes about an hour, depending on how many nerves and muscles need testing.

How does EMG help diagnose nerve problems?

Your nerves use electricity to send messages to and from your brain and spinal cord (central nervous system or CNS) and transmit instructions from your brain that make your muscles move in a specific way.

EMG and NCV tests measure these electrical impulses to see how strong they are and how quickly the messages get through, which enables your provider to isolate any nerves that aren't functioning as they should.

Dysfunctional nerves can cause pain that's often severe, as well as unpleasant symptoms like:

  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Weakness
  • "Pins-and-needles" sensation
  • Loss of function

Locating nerves responsible for these problems using EMG and NCV tests enables your provider at Link Neuroscience Institute to provide the best possible treatment for your condition.

What conditions can EMG diagnose?

EMG and NCV tests can help diagnose a variety of conditions, including:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Pinched nerves
  • Radiculopathy
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Nerve complications
  • Guillain-BarrĂ© syndrome
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease)

These conditions benefit from prompt and accurate treatment to resolve the underlying problem or delay the disease's progression.

To discover how EMG could help you get the diagnosis and treatment you need, call Link Neuroscience Institute today or book an appointment online.