• Lisa Emrich
    Health Guide
    August 14, 2008
    Lisa Emrich
    Health Guide
    August 14, 2008

    Hi Nancy,


    Electromyography (EMG) is a test that measures muscle response to nervous stimulation and is most often used when people have symptoms of weakness and signs of impaired muscle strength.  It can help to separate weakness caused by primary muscle conditions from weakness caused by neurologic disorders.


    I underwent a nerve conduction velocity test and EMG when my neurologist and I were trying to determine if the weakness I was experiencing in both hands was due to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or was due to Spinal Root Nerve damage from the MS or was due to disease in the muscles themselves.


    For the EMG, a needle electrode is inserted through the skin into the muscle.  It feels just like an intramuscular injection.  The electrode records information about the muscle when it is inserted initially and also when the neurologist asks you to contract a specific muscle.  The test really wasn't that painful, but the muscle may feel tender or bruised for a few days.


    In my case the nerve conduction velocity test showed some mild carpal tunnel syndrome on one wrist (to a lesser degree than what was suspected from my limited abilities) and showed none on the other.  The EMG showed that their was no muscular disease to explain the weakness and that the spinal nerve root was functioning normally.  After further investigation, it was determined that I have rheumatoid arthritis which was causing my symptoms and lack of function.


    I hope that the test goes well for you and that the ride through the MRI tube goes as smoothly as a nap on the beach.  Cool


    Let us know how it goes.




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