Electromyography (EMG) measures the electrical activity of muscles when they're at rest and at work. Nerve conduction studies measure how well and how fast the nerves send electrical signals.
Your nerves control your muscles with tiny electrical signals or impulses, which makes muscles react in certain ways. Nerve and muscle problems cause abnormal reactions. For example, if you have leg pain or numbness, these tests can identify which nerves are affected and how much they are affected. These tests also check how well your spinal, arm and leg nerves are working.
An EMG helps us:
- Find damage to muscle tissue, nerves, or the spots where nerves and muscles join, including herniated disc, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or a more rare disease known as myasthenia gravis (MG).
- Find the cause of weakness, paralysis, or muscle twitching.
A nerve conduction study helps us:
- Find damage to all the nerves that lead away from the brain and spinal cord, including the smaller nerves that branch out from primary nerves. We often use this test is to help find nerve problems such as carpal tunnel or Guillain-Barré syndrome.