An EMG or electromyography is a diagnostic tool used to detect conditions and disorders affecting nerves and muscles. It provides information about the overall health of your muscles and nerves and shows how well they function.
How EMG Works
Your motor neurons produce signals that cause muscle contractions with electrical stimulation, and the EMG machine captures these signals and translates them into data, such as graphs and numerical values, to be interpreted later on.
In order to capture the signals, needle electrodes will be inserted into your muscles. Then, a recording of your muscular contractions as a response to stimulation will be sent to a computer. The needle electrodes may be placed into any muscle to record its activity.
Part of an EMG study also includes a nerve conduction study, for which electrode stickers are placed on the surface of the skin. The needle electrodes record details, such as the speed of signal transmission and the strength of the transmitted signals.
What An EMG Can Detect
Here are a few conditions that an EMG can detect:
Irritation of the longest nerve in the body — the sciatic nerve — is called sciatica. You may feel pain, tingling, weakness, and a burning sensation that begins in your lower back and travels down your legs. An EMG can confirm nerve compression or sciatica, which are often results of a herniated disc or the narrowing of the spinal canal.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
An EMG test using electrodes attached to your skin can detect carpal tunnel syndrome through electrical pulses in the carpal tunnel (located in the forearm and wrist). The condition develops due to your median nerve getting pinched, which causes irritation, pain, numbness, and tingling in your hand and fingers.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
The needle EMG is one of the tests used to diagnosed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s disease. The EMG can detect involuntary muscle contractions, muscle twitching, and positive sharp waves, which are indicative of this disease.
A patient with muscular dystrophy will have muscle fibers that do not respond well to the electrical stimulation produced by the electrodes. Muscles usually respond by contracting with electrical stimulation. Muscular dystrophy is chronic and may damage muscles.
An EMG test can detect nerve damage due to peripheral neuropathy, which is often a complication caused by diabetes. The EMG will reveal damaged nerves by their lack of response to the electrical stimulation.
EMG Diagnostic Services in Irmo, South Carolina
Your pain could be caused by a variety of issues. Treatment begins with an accurate diagnosis. At SC Internal Medicine Associates & Rehabilitation, we are an independent diagnostic and treatment facility dedicated to providing accurate diagnostic results using the latest in imaging technology.
Since we operate outside the hospital network system, we are able to accept walk-ins and see you on the same day. We don’t like to keep our patients waiting. If you have any questions about our services or would like to make an appointment, call SC Internal Medicine Associates & Rehabilitation at (803) 749-1111 or send us an appointment request now.