EMG Nerve Test

Understanding EMG Nerve Condition Testing

Often times you may be referred by another treating doctor to Dr. Waldbaum when you require testing of the muscles and nerves (electrodiagnostic testing or EMG) to help diagnose your symptoms. The results of this test will help your doctor reach a diagnosis and formulate a treatment plan.

FOA physiatrist, Dr. Jonathan Waldbaum, helps pinpoint difficult-to-diagnose pain by examining the relationships of all the moving parts of the body and is often the first stop for orthopaedic issues. Before being treated, it is vital to understand the root cause of pain. Dr. Waldbaum may perform an EMG nerve test to learn more about the extent of your nerve and/or muscle injury, the location of the injury, and whether the damage is reversible.

Why do I need electrodiagnostic testing?

Electrodiagnostic testing can be useful in evaluating a wide range of symptoms including numbness and tingling in the hands or feet, radiating pain from the neck into the arm or the back into the leg, and weakness.

What will the test entail?

The electrodiagnostic test usually consists of nerve conduction studies and needle electromyography. The nerve conduction study measures how well nerves are working by delivering a small electric impulse over the nerve to see how the nerve is working.

The electromyography portion of the test involves placing a small, very thin needle just below the skin and into the muscle to record its electrical activity. Electrical stimulation is not delivered through the needle. Instead, the needle acts like a video camera allowing us to see and hear how the muscle is working.

Is the test painful?

Most people find the test to be mildly uncomfortable but tolerate it very well. In the very rare instance where an individual finds the test to be causing significant pain, they may choose to stop the test at any time.

Who does the test? And where?

Electrodiagnostic examinations are performed and interpreted by Dr. Waldbaum who has specialized training in electrodiagnostic medicine. The test is done in our Orange City or Lake Mary office and is usually completed in 30-60 minutes.

What do I need to do prior to the test?

It’s important to tell the office staff if you take blood thinners (like Coumadin), have a bleeding disorder (like Hemophilia), or have a pacemaker or other implanted electric stimulator when you schedule your appointment. Few preparations are needed on the day you have an EMG. You may eat, drink, and take your medicines as you normally would prior to the test, however, you are asked not to apply lotions to your skin on the day of the exam as it can interfere with the test.

What do the results of an EMG test mean?

Depending on your condition the results of the testing may give a definitive diagnosis and in other cases, the results will be used in conjunction with other medical tests to determine a diagnosis.

When will I get My Results?

The results of your test are usually available to the ordering physician within 48 hours.