McLaren Health Care

Electromyography Procedure

Conducted by physicians with specialty training, Electromyography (EMG) is a needle examination of selected muscles of the arms, legs and small muscles along the spinal regions of the neck and back. This test is primarily used to evaluate cervical or lumbar (neck or back) nerve root compression. The needle examination is also used for diagnosis of ALS and other motor neuron disorders (polio, for example).

The needle is inserted just under the skin into the underlying muscle. Specific waveforms, indicating the presence or absence of nerve injury and its effect on muscle function, are observed on a computer screen. 

For patients with specific pain concerns, referring physicians may prescribe pre-test pain or anti-anxiety medications.

The test is usually well tolerated by patients, who are advised by the examining physician about each step of the procedure.

Preliminary test results are reviewed with patients. A follow-up appointment with your referring physician is suggested to discuss treatment recommendations.

Please plan on 2 hours for your EMG appointment.