Electromyography (EMG) and Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS)

Electromyography (EMG) in
Novi & Howell, MI

Electromyography (EMG) Novi MI & Howell MI

Electromyography, also known as EMG, is a diagnostic test to determine how effective the nerves are at controlling your muscles. It’s an important test used by neurologists, rehabilitation doctors, and other medical specialists.  Advancements in the field of electrodiagnostic medicine have greatly improved the physiatrist’s ability to diagnose conditions that can affect the peripheral nervous system. EMG is an essential tool to more accurately diagnose neuromuscular disorders.

For accurate EMG results, the EMG should be performed by a physician with specialized training, not a technician, or non-physician. Rehabilitation Physicians is uniquely qualified to provide EMG and nerve conduction studies and has several physicians board-certified in electrodiagnostic medicine.

How Electromyography Works

During an electromyogram, a needle electrode is inserted into a muscle. Additional electrodes may be placed at different locations on top of your skin, where you are having symptoms. These electrodes record the electrical activity within the muscle. This activity is translated into values which are then read and interpreted by a medical specialist.

Why Your Doctor Might Order an Electromyogram

EMG testing is performed for a wide variety of reasons, including if you experience:

  • Numbness or tingling in your arms or legs
  • Weakness in your muscles
  • Pain or cramping in your muscles

Medical Conditions Which Can Be Diagnosed with EMG

An electromyogram can be helpful to confirm a diagnosis or to rule out these conditions:

  • Muscular disorders, including muscular dystrophy
  • Nerve-muscle connection disorders, including myasthenia gravis
  • Peripheral nerve disorders, including carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Motor neuron disorders, including polio
  • Pinched nerve in the spine caused by a herniated disc or spinal stenosis

Preparation for an EMG

Before you have an EMG, it’s important to bathe and remove any oils from your skin. Don’t use any lotions or creams on your skin after bathing. You need completely clean skin for the electrodes transmit properly.

What To Expect During the EMG

During the EMG, you may notice small twinges or muscle spasms. You may also experience slight pain when the needle is placed within a muscle.

What To Expect After an EMG

After your procedure, you may notice slight bruising where the needle was placed in the muscle. The bruising is temporary and should resolve within a few days.

Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS) in Novi & Howell, MI

Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS)

A nerve conduction study, also known as NCS, is a diagnostic test which measures how quickly electrical signals move along a nerve pathway. Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS), are generally performed along with EMG test to further evaluate nerve disease. NCS is used to identify any nerve abnormalities including damage, blocks, and damage or loss of fatty insulation (myelin) around the nerve. NCS can also provide information regarding the condition of the nerve fiber.

How a Nerve Conduction Study Works

During a nerve conduction study, adhesive patches containing electrodes are placed on your skin, over nerves and muscles at different locations. Mild electrical impulses are used to stimulate the nerves.

The time it takes for one electrode to travel to another electrode is measured to determine the speed of nerve signals. The measurements are recorded and read by a specialist.

Why Your Doctor Might Order a Nerve Conduction Study

A nerve conduction study is performed for a wide variety of reasons, including if you experience:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Tingling sensations in your arms or legs 
  • Numbness and loss of function
  • Muscle cramps
  • Muscle pain

Medical Conditions Which Can Be Diagnosed With a Nerve Conduction Study

An NCS can be helpful to confirm a diagnosis or to rule out these conditions:

  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Bell palsy
  • Myopathy
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome

Preparation for a Nerve Conduction Study

Before you have a nerve conduction study, you need to stay at a normal body temperature. If your body temperature is too cold, it can change nerve conduction speed. Don’t apply any lotions, creams, or oils to your body the day of the test.

What To Expect During a Nerve Conduction Study

During a nerve conduction study, the impulses may feel like a mild electric shock. Mild discomfort may be felt during the test, but it resolves immediately after the test.

What To Expect After a Nerve Conduction Study

An EMG may be performed after the nerve conduction study. The EMG can cause mild bruising and soreness at the needle placement site, which resolves after a few days.

To find out more about electromyography or EMG and Nerve Conduction Studies or NCS and how these tests can help you, call the doctors at Rehabilitation Physicians. You can reach them in either of their two office locations in Novi, and Howell, MI, by calling (248) 893-3200, so call today.

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