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New Jersey Pain Management

Spine, Sports & Pain Medicine Centers located in Morristown, NJ & Bridgewater, NJ & Rockaway, NJ

Muscle weakness, tingling throughout extremities, and muscle pain are scary symptoms that warrant proper diagnostics and care. At New Jersey Pain Management in Morristown, Bridgewater, and Rockaway, New Jersey, pain management specialists Alena Polesin, MD, and Philip Rubinfeld, MD, are available to figure out where your symptoms are coming from with advanced testing, such as an electromyography (EMG), so you can start treatment as soon as possible. Call or book an appointment online today to learn more.


What is an EMG?

Electromyography (EMG) and Nerve Conduction Studies (NCV) are tests designed to help diagnose muscle or nerve dysfunction in the body. It uses electrodes to translate electric signals transmitted by motor neurons to determine the health of your affected muscles and nerve cells.

During an EMG, your physician will insert a thin antenna-like needle directly into your muscle to record the electrical activity in that particular muscle. Your nerves will also be examined by stimulating them with a low-grade electric impulse and record their speed and size. This helps your doctor figure out why you might be experiencing nerve pain, muscle spasms, and more.

Why would I need an EMG?

An EMG is recommended if you begin displaying symptoms that point to a muscle or nerve disorder. Some of the telltale signs that you may have one of these disorders include:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Cramping
  • Muscle pain
  • Numbness or tingling in your limbs

Your doctor will call for an EMG to rule out or diagnose certain conditions, such as:

Myasthenia gravis

Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune neuromuscular disease that causes muscle weakness. This disease primarily impacts skeletal muscles, which are responsible for moving parts of your body, as well as helping you breathe. Some symptoms of Myasthenia gravis include difficulty swallowing and double vision.

Muscle disorders

An EMG can help diagnose muscle disorders, such as muscular dystrophy and polymyositis, both neuromuscular disorders that cause extreme muscle weakness or degeneration over time.

Herniated disc

A herniated disc in your spine can cause extreme nerve pain throughout your lower body, including your back, buttocks, and thighs.

Peripheral nerve disorders

Nerve compression or injury disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome, which causes pain and lack of motion in the hand, wrist, and arm, and peripheral neuropathies can be diagnosed with an EMG.

What can I expect from an EMG?

Before your EMG, it’s important to shower, but avoid using any moisturizers and lotions. You will also need to cut out smoking, sugary beverages, and caffeine at least three hours before the test. You can, and should use any pain medicines or anxiolytic medications you normally use, to avoid minor discomfort you may experience.

Once you’re prepped and ready to begin, your physician will place electrodes on your skin and insert a thin needle into your muscle. You will then be given instructions to contract and relax your muscles, so the EMG has a chance to see how they respond to nerve signals.

While the procedure itself may feel slightly uncomfortable, you should not experience any serious side effects from the EMG, aside from mild soreness in the area where the needle was inserted. When your physician has the EMG results, they will have a much better idea as to why you are experiencing muscle or nerve symptoms and what treatment is best suited for you.

To learn more about New Jersey Pain Management’s EMG services, call or book an appointment online today.