Capital Region Special Surgery medical office Albany, NY

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What Is An EMG And How Do I Know That I Need One?

June 4, 2012

Paul Christo, M.D., Director, Pain Treatment Center, Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System

Answer: An EMG, or electromyography, uses a needle to evaluate the electrical activity of muscle fibers. It can provide information about the function and integrity of your individual muscle fibers and can identify processes causing muscle dysfunction such as neuropathies or problems with the nerves supplying the muscle, myopathies, or muscle destruction, and failure of nerve transmission, for example, in a disease called myasthenia gravis. The test involves inserting a small needle into your muscle, and muscle activity is measured as the needle is moved through the muscle in small increments. Normal and damaged muscle produces specific characteristics that are interpreted by the physician who is performing the test.

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