You are being sent to the EMG lab because you have numbness, tingling, pain, weakness or muscle cramping. Coastal Spine will be using nerve conduction studies and needle EMG to help diagnose your symptoms.
EMG is the study of nerves and muscle diseases. There are two parts of the test: conduction studies and needle electromyography. Both nerve conduction studies and EMGs can help physicians determine the causes of patients back or neck problems.
Do not use body lotion on the day of the test. Tell your doctor if you are taking aspirin, taking blood thinners (like Coumadin), have a pacemaker, or suffer from hemophilia. Take a bath or shower to remove oil from your skin. You may eat normal meals and continue taking prescribed medications unless your doctor gives other instructions.
Most people describe the procedure as uncomfortable and annoying. During the first part of the EMG test, patients will typically feel a small static shock that builds throughout the process. During the second part of the EMG, patients may experience some pain when the needle is inserted into each of the muscles being tested. We will be testing five to seven muscles so some discomfort should be expected, but the EMG is not acupuncture or a skin treatment of any kind. Nothing is injected into or under the skin.
The test usually takes 45 to 80 minutes. Patients can perform all normal activities, such as eating, driving and exercising, before the tests. There are no lasting side effects. You can also perform all normal activities after the EMG test is complete.