EMG, Electromyography

EMG, also known as Electromyography, is a diagnostic test used as a way to analyze muscle health and their corresponding nerve cells. EMG can help determine if you have muscle dysfunction, nerve dysfunction, or other issues regarding the signal transmission between your muscles and nerves.

Your nerves, also referred to as motor neurons, are what send the electrical signals to your muscles, thus causing them to contract. With EMG, a needle electrode is placed on the affected muscle, in order to view the electrical inactivity of the nerves surrounding it. The EMG records these signals into graphs, sounds, and numerical values, making it simple to determine the root cause of inactivity and any dysfunction that may have developed in the affected area.

At Orchard Park Progressive Physical Therapy, our Orchard Park physical therapy practice is highly skilled and experienced in the methods of EMG. To find out more about EMG and how it may benefit you, contact Orchard Park Progressive Physical Therapy today.

Why is EMG done?

The main reason why our Orchard Park physical therapists will decide to perform EMG is to diagnose a suspected disorder or dysfunction in either the muscles or nerves. Some signs that may indicate potential disorder or dysfunction include:

  • Pain in the limbs
  • Pain or cramping in the muscles
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Weakness in the muscles

There are a large number of conditions that EMG can help our Orchard Park physical therapists diagnose. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Disorders that affect the nerve root, such as a herniated disc in the spine.
  • Disorders of nerves outside the spinal cord (peripheral nerves), such as carpal tunnel syndrome or peripheral neuropathies.
  • Muscle disorders, such as muscular dystrophy or polymyositis.
  • Diseases affecting the connection between the nerve and the muscle, such as myasthenia gravis.
  • Disorders that affect the motor neurons in the brain or spinal cord, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or polio.

What can I expect from EMG?

When the needle electrode is inserted into the affected muscle, you may feel some slight discomfort, but it should not be painful. There may be some pain as the needle is removed, but that should disappear shortly after. You may be asked to move the affected area in certain ways or contract the affected muscle, in order to determine which signals are being affected and where the areas of inactivity are present.

You may notice some discomfort with movement, but your physical therapist will not ask you to make any extreme movements to the muscle. You may also be asked to change positions in the way you are sitting or lying down during the testing.

If you notice some soreness from the movement following the EMG, it should go away shortly. Your physical therapist can also provide you with remedies you can do at home to ease any discomfort.

After your EMG is complete, your physical therapist will analyze the results. It is likely that this may take a couple days, so your physical therapist may wait to discuss any results with you until your follow-up appointment. After the results are concluded, your physical therapist will design a personalized treatment plan for your specific needs, in order to help relieve your pain and correct your condition.

Do you think you could benefit from EMG? If so, don’t hesitate to Contact Us Today at Orchard Park, NY Center to get started on the first steps!