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Electromyogram (EMG)

What is an electromyogram (EMG) in healthcare?

Electromyography (EMG) is a diagnostic procedure to assess the motor neurons that affect the muscles. The test may help determine the cause of symptoms such as weakness, pain, or cramping or monitor the progress of certain conditions, such as ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis).  

The test involves placing electrodes on the skin over the muscles being evaluated. Electrical activity is recorded and displayed on a monitor as the muscles contract. This activity can be used to assess muscle function and reveal abnormalities.  

Why is an electromyogram (EMG) important in healthcare?

An electromyogram test helps determine if muscles respond the right way to nerve signals. When EMG tests and nerve conduction studies are done together, it helps providers tell if symptoms are caused by a muscle disorder or a nerve problem. This information can then be used to diagnose and treat a wide range of conditions, including neuromuscular disorders and muscular injuries. 

Additionally, EMG can be used to monitor the progress of rehabilitation programs and to evaluate the effectiveness of new treatments. In short, healthcare providers rely on EMG to provide crucial information about muscle function and health.