What is Electromyography?

Electromyography, or EMG, is a kind of diagnostic test that checks the health of muscles and the nerves that make them move. Nerves that move muscles, called motor neurons, use electrical impulses to stimulate muscle fibers to contract. An EMG records these electrical impulses. Electromyography uses a very tiny needle placed in the muscle tissue to measure the amount of electricity inside the muscle. It is often done along with a test called a nerve conduction study, where electrodes placed on the skin measure how efficiently electricity can move around the body.

An EMG is usually done when a patient has symptoms of a nerve or muscle disorder, such as numbness, tingling, or weakness. It can help diagnose disorders such as muscular dystrophy, myasthenia gravis, peripheral neuropathy, or ALS. The test is very safe, only mildly uncomfortable, and usually takes less than an hour to complete. It can provide important information about muscle problems.
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