Electromyography (EMG) is a technique for evaluating and recording muscle activity signals. Electromyography examination is carried out using an instrument called electromyograph and the resulting recording is called Electromyogram. This technique can detect the potential action of muscle cells when cells contract and relax using an electrode that is attached to the muscle tissue. EMG is done when a patient experiences muscle weakness. This examination can help to distinguish between problems originating from the muscle itself or from nerve disorders.
Why is Electromyography Examination Needed?
Usually, this examination is done with a doctor’s recommendation. Your doctor may ask you to do this examination if you have signs and symptoms that indicate nerve or muscle abnormalities. Symptoms that arise such as tingling that often occurs, numbness, muscle weakness, frequent muscle aches or cramps, or discomfort and pain in other joints.
Electromyographic results are needed to diagnose or determine health conditions such as muscular abnormalities (dystrophy or polymyositis), diseases that affect the relationship between nerves and muscles such as myasthenia gravis, abnormalities in nerves outside the spinal cord, and disorders or diseases that affect nerve roots.
Risks and Electromyographic Examination Preparation
This examination is basically not a high-risk procedure. Complications are rare after electromyography is performed. However, there is the possibility of small bleeding, infection, or nerve injury when the electrode needle is inserted into the body.
To get the most appropriate examination results and reduce the risk of complications, you should make preparations before electromyography. Make sure you consult your Neurologist first.
Ask your Neurologist if you need to stop the medication you are taking. If the doctor forbids some use of the drug, temporarily stop taking the drug as directed. In addition, inform your doctor if you have special health conditions such as the use of electrical medical devices (pacemakers) in the body or taking blood-related drugs such as anticoagulants or blood clotting medications. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have hemophilia or blood clotting abnormalities.
Before doing the electromyography process, take a shower and clean your body with soap. Do not use a body moisturizer (body lotion or body cream) before the examination is done.
Electromyographic Examination Results
The results of this examination will be interpreted by a Neurologist. The results of the interpretation will be conveyed to you to inform you of any abnormality that might be detected or the results of the diagnosis submitted. Discuss the type of therapy or treatment that you need to go through with your neurologist.