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3621 North Wells Fargo Avenue   •   Scottsdale, Arizona 85251   •   480-882-5566
On the campus of HonorHealth Scottsdale Osborn Medical Center

About EMGs - Electrodiagnostic Studies

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What is Neuromuscular Medicine?

Care for patients with disorders of the peripheral nervous system (PNS) and its relationship with the central nervous system is known as Neuromuscular medicine. The peripheral nervous system involves the motor and sensory neurons, peripheral nerves, neuromuscular junctions, and muscles. A subset of neuromuscular medicine is electrodiagnostic medicine.


Who performs the needle electromyogram (EMG) and nerve conduction study?

It is the policy of the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine that EMG testing must be performed by a trained physician.


What kind of medical training is required for a physician to perform an EMG?

Physicians who perform EMGs complete 4 years of medical school followed by residency program training of 3 or 4 more years. EMGs are typically performed by physiatrists or neurologists.


Why is an EMG test ordered?

An EMG test may be ordered for patients who experience numbness, tingling, pain, weakness, or muscle cramping. Nerve conduction studies and EMGs are types of tests that the spine physician may use to diagnose symptoms.


What will a Nerve Conduction Study reveal?

Nerve conduction studies can show your spine specialists how well the body’s electrical signals are traveling to a nerve. During this test, small electrical shocks are applied to the nerve in order to record how the nerve works. The shocks may cause a quick, mild and tingling feeling. The doctor may test several nerves.


My doctor ordered an EMG. What does this involve?

During an EMG, a small, acupuncture size needle is placed in several muscles to help diagnosis a back or neck condition. There may be a bit of discomfort when the needle is inserted. The physiatrist will only test the muscles necessary for diagnosis. Physicians are able to see and hear the electrical signals that travel from the needle to the EMG machine.


How long will an EMG / Nerve Conduction Study take?

The tests will take from 20 to 90 minutes. Patients can do normal activities, like eating, driving, and exercising, before and after the tests.

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Do you NEED spine surgery?


Do you have pain that radiates into an arm or leg?

   Yes    No

Do you have any numbess or weakness in a foot or hand?

   Yes    No

Have you had an MRI within the last 12 months?

   Yes    No

Provide contant information below so we can advise you based on your above symptoms:

   

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