An electromyogram (EMG) measures the electrical activity of muscles at rest and during contraction. Nerve conduction studies measure how well and how fast the nerves can send electrical signals.
Nerves control the muscles in the body with electrical signals called impulses. These impulses make the muscles react in specific ways. Nerve and muscle problems cause the muscles to react in abnormal ways.
If you have leg pain or numbness, you may have these tests to find out how much your nerves are being affected. These tests check how well your spinal nerves and the nerves in your arms and legs are working.
An EMG can be done at one of our Weil Foot & Ankle Institute podiatry offices in or around the Chicago area. It is done in a room that stops any outside electrical interference and is conducted by one of our EMG technologists or expert Chicago podiatrists.
During your procedure, you lie on a table or bed or sit in a reclining chair so your muscles are relaxed. The skin over the areas to be tested is cleaned. An electrode is then placed over the skin and attached by wires to a recording machine.
When the electrodes are in place, the electrical activity in your muscle is recorded while the muscle is at rest. Then the technologist or doctor asks you to tighten (or contract) the muscle slowly and steadily. This electrical activity is recorded. The electrode may be moved a number of times to record the activity in different areas of the muscle or in different muscles.
The electrical activity in the muscle is shown as wavy and spiky lines on a video monitor and may also be heard on a loudspeaker as machine gun-like popping sounds when you contract the muscle. The activity may also be recorded on video.
An EMG typically takes 30 to 60 minutes. When the test is done, the electrodes are removed and the skin is cleaned.
Please call our Chicago area podiatry office at (847) 390-7666 if you have any additional questions about EMGs or nerve conduction tests. We will be happy to provide you with all the information that you may need. With 15 Chicago area podiatry offices, there is sure to be a podiatry office near you!