The EMG - mlectromyography

Recently, my doctor ordered an EMG on my right leg because we know I have sciatica, it is just to what extent that we don't know. I had no idea what the EMG stood for until I asked my good friend who is like a sister to me what it was and she helped me to locate the information on the proper name and the test itself.

"The Electromyography (EMG) is a test of the health of the muscles and the nerves that move those muscles. A needle electrode is inserted trough the skin into the muscle and the electrical activity is displayed on an oscilloscope and may be heard on speakers."

Ok, stop right there buddy, what do you mean that some idiot that I've never met before is going to stick needles into my right leg and then send electrical waves through some speakers? Oh and get this, if the sound isn't proper than we know the degree of sciatica.

I say we forgo the test, give me the insurance money that the hospital will be billing for, and let's all go out and get drunk!

NEEDLES! Let me say that again... NEEDLES IN THE MUSCLES OF MY RIGHT LEG! Did I tell you that I'm scared to death of needles? Well I am! That's why I never was an IV drug user.

Oh, this is nice, "Afterward, the muscle may feel sore or bruised for a few days." "There may be some discomfort with the insertion of the needles." SOME DISCOMFORT?!?!?!?! HAH!

"EMG is most often used when people have symptoms of weakness and examination shows impaired muscle strength. It can help to differentiate primary muscle conditions from muscle weakness caused by neurological disorders." Well, gee Sherlock, tell me something I didn't know!

"Muscle tissue is normally electrically silent at rest. Once the insertion activity (caused by the trauma of needle insertion) quiets down, there should be no action potential on the oscilloscope. When the muscle is voluntarily contracted, action potentials begin to appear. As contraction is increased, more and more muscle fibers produce action potentials until a disorderly group of action potentials of varying rates and amplitudes (complete recruitment and interference pattern) appears with full contraction." Huh? Do what? What does that mean? Am I going to be electrocuted by this thing?

All this information was gotten from Medline Plus Medical Encyclopedia. I also want to thank Deborah Dubois of California for helping me to find this information and talking me into calming down once I read the word, needles.

My test will be held on August 7, 2006 at 2 p.m. central time. Please be looking for a follow up story on this issue as I know I will be sitting around with icepacks on my legs and will be writing about how uncaring the technicians are.

Published on July 27, 2006 in