What is Electromyography and How Can it Help My Chronic Pain?SEMGeeks
Electromyography (EMG) is a diagnostic procedure that assesses the health of the muscles and nerve cells. The goal of EMG is to pinpoint nerve dysfunction, muscle dysfunction or communication problems between the nerves and muscles. Doctors usually order EMG when patients have symptoms that may indicate a muscle or nerve disorder, such as tingling, numbless, muscle weakness or muscle pain.
Let’s learn more about what electromyography is and how it can address a chronic pain disease.
What Happens During EMG?
Electromyography uses tiny devices called electrodes to understand the signals being sent from the neurons to the muscles. The results can be translated into graphs, sounds or numerical values that are then interpreted by a specialist.
Only a small needle is inserted into the skin, so the risks associated with an EMG test are slim to none. There is a small risk of bleeding, infection and nerve injury at the site, but this is very rare. Most people tolerate the procedure well.
Some of the things that can be diagnosed through electromyography are:
- Muscle disorders, such as muscular dystrophy
- Nerve problems in parts of the body
- Nerve problems in the spine
- Disorders of the peripheral nerves
- Pinched nerves
- Immune diseases like multiple sclerosis
How Can Electromyography Help with Pain?
Electromyography can pick up a problem and help your doctor identify where your pain is coming from. This leads to more targeted treatment that addresses your pain and provides you with effective relief. After all, it’s difficult for a pain management specialist to treat your pain if they’re not sure where it’s stemming from.
If the EMG shows that your muscles are responding properly to the nerve signals, your doctor will look for other causes of the pain. It’s possible that you may have an infection, circulation problems or an underlying health problem like diabetes or anemia. In this case, the proper medications and physical therapy should get you back on your feet.
Even though electromyography won’t solve your chronic pain problems, this test provides doctors with key information about your condition. Having a diagnosis is powerful, and it allows people to move forward with targeted treatment.
If you are experiencing muscle soreness, weakness or pain, EMG may be a helpful tool for your care team. Contact Jersey Rehab Pain Management at one of our four locations to learn more.