Electromyogram (EMG)

Measuring electrical activity in muscles

An electromyogram (EMG) is a test that is used to record the electrical activity of muscles. EMGs can be used to detect abnormal electrical activity in muscles. This abnormal electrical activity can occur in many diseases and conditions, including muscular dystrophy, inflammation of muscles, pinched nerves, and peripheral nerve damage. Our physicians are specially trained to do EMGs on children, including using sedation when necessary.

When the test is performed, there is usually an electrode taped to the muscle. Then, the patients is asked to move and use that muscle. The electrical activity is detected by the electrode. The activity is displayed on an monitor and sometimes it is can be heard through a speaker. A needle is sometimes inserted through the skin into the muscle and/or a current is run from one electrode to another through the muscle to capture activity.