Dr. Jerry Sobel is a board certified Physiatrist that has been performing EMGs for almost 30 years. There are two specialties that are trained in performing this valuable test are Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (Physiatry) and Neurology.
Electrodiagnostic testing or EMG is a test that evaluates nerve and muscle function. The test has two parts and usually takes between 45-60 minutes. There are two parts to the test, with the first part called nerve conduction testing and the second is known as electromyography or EMG. The nerve conduction testing involves giving small electrical stimulations to nerves in the arms and/or legs. It is used to evaluate pain, numbness and weakness in a limb. The EMG involves the use of a small needle that is inserted into selected muscles in order to determine if the muscle has lost its nerve supply and therefore there is nerve injury. There can be discomfort with the test, but this can be easily controlled by the doctor performing the exam. Some people experience muscle tenderness for a day or two after the test, and some have minimal bleeding from the EMG needle sites.
Conditions frequently tested by EMG
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Radiculopathy (pinched nerve)
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Nerve problems in the arms or legs
- Diseases of the muscles
This is a great video to watch about what you should expect during an EMG test.
Preparing for an EMG
Few preparations are needed on the day you have an EMG. You do not need to fast, or eat any particular kinds of food before the test. You can drive yourself to and from the appointment, do you do not need to bring a friend or relative with you. You can count on resuming your regular activity after the test is complete. As for clothing, it is best to wear loose fitting clothing so the doctor can evaluate your arms and legs easily.
Please do not apply lotions to your skin on the day of the exam as it can interfere with the test.
Please inform the doctor prior to the start of the test if you have any one of the following:
- Have a pacemaker or any other electrical medical device
- Take blood-thinning medications- medications such as Coumadin, Plavix, Eliquis, etc because they will need to be stopped a few to several days prior to the test.
- Have hemophilia, a blood-clotting disorder that causes prolonged bleeding
If you have any questions about an upcoming EMG test by Dr. Jerry Sobel please click on this link and fill out the form.