Nerves control the muscles in the body using electrical impulses. The electrical impulses make the muscles react in specific ways. Nerve and muscle disorders cause the muscles to react in abnormal ways.

Electromyography (EMG) measures the electrical discharges made by the muscles. Nerve conduction studies (measuring nerve conduction velocity) determine how well individual nerves can transmit electrical signals. Measuring the electrical activity in muscles and nerves can help detect the presence, location, and extent of diseases that can damage muscle tissue.

In the case of nerve injury, the actual sight of nerve damage can often be located. EMG and nerve conduction studies are often done together to provide more complete information.
Electromyography (EMG)
is done to:

• Help diagnose diseases that damage muscle tissue, nerves, or the junctions between nerve and muscle.

• Evaluate the cause of weakness, paralysis, involuntary muscle twitching, or other symptoms. Problems in a muscle, the nerves supplying a muscle, the spinal cord, or the area of the brain that controls muscle movement can all cause these kinds of symptoms.

Nerve Conduction studies are done to:

• Detect and evaluate damage to the peripheral nervous system. Nerve conduction studies are often used to help diagnose generalized or focal nerve disorders.

• Identify the location of abnormal sensations such as numbness, tingling or pain.

Dr. Blair may be able to discuss some findings with you immediately after the tests. A full analysis of the results may take a day or so.

The results from EMG and nerve conduction studies are usually not enough on their own to diagnose a condition. They can be used along with a person’s history, symptoms, physical and neurological examinations, and the results of other tests to help establish a diagnosis and evaluate how a disease is progressing.
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