An EMG is used to record and analyze electrical activity in muscles. The result help the doctor to analyze how the nerves are functioning in the legs and arms. A normal resting muscle should be electrically silent.

During an EMG, tiny needles are placed in the muscle so they can detect electrical activity and record it. The doctor will then ask the patient to slightly tense the muscle and then relax it. While this happens, the doctor will watch and listen to the electrical signals as they are broadcast to the monitor. The patient will can also hear the sounds of these signals as the muscle is moving.

There may be slight bruising and some soreness after the needles are removed. This typically passes with in a couple of days with no side effects lasting long term.

Prior to the test, it is important to tell your doctor about any illnesses, risks of infection, or blood-thinning medications you may be taking. On the day of the test, refrain from using cream or lotion on the area that will be tested. Test result are usually available immediately after the EMG concludes.