American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

American Academy of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine

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THE EMG TEST

 

Your doctor has referred you for an EMG Study.  This study is usually performed as a workup for pain, numbness or tingling in an arm or leg.  It tests the condition of the nerves from the spine into the extremity to the foot or hand.  There are two parts to the test, the nerve conduction study and the needle EMG Study.

 

During the nerve conduction portion of the study, mild electrical impulses are sent along the course of a nerve in the arm or the leg.  You will feel a brief snapping sensation on the skin.  The intensity of the impulse will be increased until the desired response is obtained.  The electrical impulse will make the muscles in your arm and leg contract.  The sensation you feel is much like that of a static electric shock.

The needle EMG portion of the study involves the insertion of very thin pin electrodes into the skin.  The electrode is moved around slightly after insertion.  Several muscles are tested in each extremity.  You will fell a cramping sensation at the area of needle insertion. The electrodes that are used are disposable electrodes that are used only on you.  They are designed for minimal pain and discomfort.

 

The EMG and nerve conduction study is a mildly uncomfortable test.  Many patients come to the test anxious because they have heard how painful it is.  Almost all leave feeling they worried for nothing.  Every effort is made by Dr. Masceri and his staff to make you feel as relaxed and comfortable as possible.  Dr. Masceri will take his time during the study and answer any questions that you have regarding the procedure.  The vast majority of patients tested by Dr. Masceri tolerate the procedure well and feel that it was not as bad as they expected.

If you are very anxious about having the test done, Dr. Masceri will be happy call you to personally answer any of your questions and reassure you about the procedure.  It is important that you have the study done and we will do everything we can to make your experience as pleasant as possible.

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