An electromyograph is an instrument used to perform electromyography, which is a test that uses the electrical signals within muscles to help detect potential nerve abnormalities. The electromyograph can be useful in the detection of several disorders of the spine.
During electromyography, electrode needles are inserted into muscle that is connected to nerves suspected of being damaged or compressed. As the electrodes are inserted, a medical specialist begins to monitor the electrical activity within the muscle, either on a video monitor, through an audio speaker, or both. The way the muscle responds during insertion can provide clues about the health of the connecting nerve. Then, measurements of electrical activity are taken while the muscle is at rest and contracted. A healthy muscle produces little or no electrical “noise” when relaxed. Minute muscular movements during moments of relaxation and its accompanying noise, might be indications of nerve damage.
A nerve conduction study (NCS) sometimes is employed simultaneously with electromyography. The NCS measures the ability of the nerve to conduct electrical signals to the muscle. The spinal conditions electromyography might be used to help diagnose include:
Electromyography is one of several tools your doctor can use to diagnose the cause of back or neck pain. An MRI or CT scan also can be useful, and you can receive a free review of your MRI or CT scan result by contacting Laser Spine Institute (LSI). At LSI, our award-winning surgeons gently treat the kind of spinal conditions detected by electromyography using a variety of minimally invasive, outpatient procedures. Contact LSI to learn how to rediscover a life without pain.