Electromyography (EMG) Test Information

Electromyography is insertion of a recording needle into selected muscles which assesses nerve innervation to the muscle fibers. Generally, it’s first done with the muscle relaxed where the neurologist will look for ‘spontaneous’ activity then the patient will be asked to contract and the activity measured. It provides detailed information, which can not be determined from the nerve conduction study component. Usually it is conducted when looking for proximal problems; plexopathies, radiculopathies (root problems), and for muscle problems/myopathies (amongst others).

Frequently asked EMG questions

How long does the test take?

Depends how many nerves are being tested and how well you tolerate the test. It can take from half an hour to one hour. Time is taken to explain all aspects of the test to you.

Is there any preparation for the test? (see above information)

No preparation required just wearing clothes that allow access to upper arm and leg. No fasting required.

Do I still take my medications?

YES continue all regular medications.

Will I be able to drive after the test?

Yes, you will be able to drive after the test.

Are there any after affects of the test?

There are no after affects or complications from the test.

I have a pacemaker can I still have the test done?

You can still have the test done, however it will need to be arranged through Cairns Hospital for safety reasons.

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