What is an EMG?

A nerve in the body works somewhat like an electrical wire in your house.  To make sure the wire is functioning properly, an electrician may test the wire with a series of electrical currents.  Failure of the electrical current to go through test helps identify failures in the circuits or connectivity.

Similar to testing electrical wires in your house, an Electromyography (EMG) is a diagnostic procedure to assess the health of muscles and the nerve cells that control them (motor neurons).  Motor neurons transmit electrical signals that cause muscles to contract. An EMG translates these signals into graphs, sounds or numerical values that a specialist interprets.

Why is an EMG ordered?

Your doctor may perform an EMG if you’re experiencing symptoms that may indicate a muscle or nerve disorder.  These symptoms may include tingling, numbness, muscle weakness, muscle pain or cramping, paralysis, involuntary muscle twitching (or tics).  It also helps to discover how severe the condition is and how a nerve is responding to injury or to treatment.