We Use Electromyography (EMG) To Help Us Form a Diagnosis
Electromyography (EMG) is a technique for evaluating and recording the electrical activity produced by the skeletal muscles in your body. EMG is performed using an instrument called an electromyograph. This technology creates a record called an electromyogram. An EMG test detects the electrical potential generated by your muscle’s cells when these cells are electrically or neurologically activated. The signals are then analyzed, allowing us to identify any medical abnormalities. Our physicians perform EMG only based on a referral from other physicians. Our state-of-the-art facility is set up to perform these tests on site. These tests are done to help diagnose nerve and muscle problems. We typically order an EMG test when a Houston patient complains of symptoms like numbness, tingling, chronic pain, weakness, or cramping.
How to Prepare for An Electromyography Test
As with many medical procedures, there are some preparation tasks you can perform to get ready for the test, as well as ensure it is as accurate and useful as possible. Neurology Consultants of Houston prides itself on our ability to provide you with comprehensive medical care so that we will go over this during your appointment. However, this list might help:
- Take a bath or shower to remove all oil from your skin.
- Do not use body lotion or powder on your arms or legs on the day of the test
- Provide a list of all your medications, especially if you are taking aspirin, blood thinners (like Coumadin), or have a bleeding disorder (such as hemophilia).
- Medications can be taken the day of the testing unless your referring physician tells you differently. If you have myasthenia gravis, it is especially important that you ask your referring physician if you should take your medication on the day of the test.
What Happens During an Electromyography?
EMG studies are done on some patients to examine the muscle for signs of weakness and other abnormalities. The EMG test consists of a thin needle inserted into a muscle. This exam allows us to note how the muscle is working. We do not administer shocks during EMG testing. The EMG needles are much thinner than the needles that would be used to draw your blood. We use a new sterile needle for each patient. There may be some discomfort when we insert the needle. If the test is painful, please tell one of our neurological consultants. Your pain will interfere with the results.
- We will ask you to remove any clothing, jewelry, hearing aids, glasses, or anything else that interferes with our equipment.
- You’ll be lying down or sitting for the test.
- Once our neurologist locates the muscle they want to test, they will clean the skin with an antiseptic solution and insert the needle.
- After we insert the needle, we place a ground electrode under your arm or leg.
- Five or more needle insertions are sometimes necessary to perform electromyography.
- From there, we will use muscle contractions throughout your body, and the electrical activity is recording.
When Do We Order an Electrography (EMG) Test?
When you visit Neurology Consultants of Houston, we’ll use your symptoms to help us devise a diagnostic and treatment plan that works for you. There are numerous neurological disorders – some more serious than others – and all of them present different symptoms. For instance, if you are experiencing numbness, decreased sensation in your fingertips or toes, tingling sensations, radiating pain or burning, muscle spasms or weaknesses, or coordination problems, we might order an EMG test. Houston, TX patients can trust that this test will help our practitioners figure out what’s wrong. EMG tests can reveal the existence of conditions as far ranging as:
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Brain Tumors
- Brain Trauma
- Tourette’s Syndrome
- Spinal cord disorders
We Use Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS) As Well
In addition to Electromyography (EMG), Neurology Consultants of Houston also utilize Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS) to evaluate how well the nerves in your body are functioning. One of our neurological consultants uses small electrical shocks through surface electrodes that we attach to your skin. These shocks provide our neurologists with a record that enables us to zero in on a diagnosis. We don’t need to use needles to perform this test.
Contact Us Today To Receive an EMG Test in Houston
Neurological Consultants of Houston is a full-service neurological center with a state-of-the-art facility and highly-trained doctors. We’re committed to both a high quality of care and bedside manner. Our practitioners are continually undergoing more education and training, and they’re always looking for new ways to comfort their patients. Neurological disorders can be frightening. Our goal is to treat your condition with the warmth you deserve. If you’ve been suffering from any symptoms that suggest a neurological disorder, give Neurological Consultants of Houston a call at 713-795-4785. We’ll get you in to see us right away.