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image01001614917

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E.M.G

Electromyography (EMG) is a diagnostic procedure to assess the health of muscles and the nerve cells that control them (motor neurons). EMG results can reveal nerve dysfunction, muscle dysfunction or problems with nerve-to-muscle signal transmission.

Motor neurons transmit electrical signals that cause muscles to contract. An EMG uses tiny devices called electrodes to translate these signals into graphs, sounds or numerical values that are then interpreted by a specialist.

During a needle EMG, a needle electrode inserted directly into a muscle records the electrical activity in that muscle.

A nerve conduction study, another part of an EMG, uses electrode stickers applied to the skin (surface electrodes) to measure the speed and strength of signals traveling between two or more points.

Food and medications

When you schedule your EMG, ask if you need to stop taking any prescription or over-the-counter medications before the exam. If you are taking a medication called Mestinon (pyridostigmine), you should specifically ask if this medication should be discontinued for the examination.

Bathing

Take a shower or bath shortly before your exam in order to remove oils from your skin. Don't apply lotions or creams before the exam.

Other precautions

The nervous system specialist (neurologist) conducting the EMG will need to know if you have certain medical conditions. Tell the neurologist and other EMG lab personnel if you:

  • Have a pacemaker or any other electrical medical device
  • Take blood-thinning medications
  • Have hemophilia, a blood-clotting disorder that causes prolonged bleeding

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