• Daryl Daryl
    February 25, 2009
    Does an EMG test help in the process of diagnosing MS?
    Daryl Daryl
    February 25, 2009

    My neurologist has ordered an EMG test for me.  I'm having it done tomorrow.  It is the first test I have had sense my MRI.  With the MRI they found "unspecified white matter in the parietle lobe and abnormal signaling".  This doctor has not mentioned MS, although I have been suspecting it due to all the other symptoms I have.  Does an EMG have anything to do with an MS diagnosis? 



  • Merely Me
    Health Guide
    February 25, 2009
    Merely Me
    Health Guide
    February 25, 2009

    Hi Daryl!


    I have a bunch of information for you!  One thing I would strongly suggest is to ask your doctor point blank..."why are you doing this test and what are you looking for?"


    I am not a doctor but my best guess is that they are trying to rule out other things besides MS that this could be including peripheral neuropathy.  Follow this link to find out more about peripheral neuropathy.


    We have discussed this test here within our community before.  Here is one question similar to yours...please read the answers.


    I also wrote about neurological tests but not this one...but our community did ask about it and made comments.  Please look at the comments following my article.


    Next...here is a very detailed article about the test itself.  They say it might be a little uncomfortable.


    Good luck with your test and please come back and tell us how it went and what they tell you.  I think a lot of folk are interested in this topic so if you ever have time...could you write a share post about your experience?


    Thank you for your question and do keep in touch!


  • Paul February 25, 2009
    February 25, 2009

    First, relax as far the test goes. It is not MS specific. It's always done by a specialized neurologist. It's what they do. It's a little uncomfortable, at times, but not bad.

    It can help in the diagnosis. But an EMG records electrical activity in your muscles and it can detect problems, abnormal electrical readings, that happen in a lot of conditions.

    A nerve conduction study, involving inserting needles in different areas is often done with it.  In your case I don't what the doctor is looking for, or to rule out.

    They are diagnostic tests, not unique to any one disorder.


    An abnormal EMG can be a sign of a number of nerve and muscle disorders.

    Ask the neurologist  why he is doing the test, since it's to late to call the doctors office.

    You can look here and here for more information.


    An interesting article about neurological tests can be found here on Health Central and the comments are worth reading too.

  • Ponder July 22, 2010
    July 22, 2010

    Hello. I just had this test conducted yesterday but there were no needles.  I had to get partially undressed, put on gown and lie on the bed face up. They used a metal object with antenna-like prongs. They swapped the tips of the prongs with jell. Prior they put these sticky circles with chords leading to machine on particular areas.  Then they place the metal object on various points and the reaction registered on the computer. The test was done in quadrants on my entire right side: hand, elbow, forearm, thigh, back of knee, chin, foot.


    It was not so bad actually. They were small jolts that sent a pinch more or less. Sometimes my muscle visibly reacted, like knee jerk reaction and sometimes more subtle. It took about 45 minutes.  I had a young doctor (under supervision) who I think was interning so he gave me a few more jolts than I needed. 


    I think there test differently depending on symptoms. Mine was tingling and burning. There is also more they do if your symptoms include weakness, etc. Also, once they got a very good reading they wouldn't persist further in that area. Sometimes they tested a particular never twice to check if it would have the same reading. So it varies from my understanding.


    Not sure about the MS part but seems like it would be helpful from what I know about MS? Many blessings and think good thoughts. Don't worry about something you can't control. I know it's easier said than done but I've heard more AMAZING recovery and healing stories as bad ones. As long as we are alive there is an opportunity for us to recover. I've witnessed this first hand!

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