Advertisement

How is electromyography used to diagnose spinal pain?

If your doctor thinks your spinal or back pain might be due to a compressed nerve in your spine, you might need to undergo a test of your nerve and muscle functions called electromyography (EMG). During an EMG test, your doctor will insert a very thin needle into a muscle in your back. An electrode on the needle detects electrical activity in the muscle, and this information is relayed through the needle to a machine called an oscilloscope. This machine can measure how the muscle responds when nerves are stimulated, such as when the muscle moves. Your doctor's interpretation of the results of the EMG test will help in the diagnosis of conditions that can compress a spinal nerve, such as a malformed spinal disk or spinal stenosis, which is a painful narrowing of the area around the spinal cord.

Continue Learning about Electromyography

Why do I need to have electromyogram tests?
Deborah DavisDeborah Davis
An electromyogram test(EMG)  is often performed when patients have unexplained muscle weakness.  The...
More Answers
What happens during electromyography (EMG) for bladder problems?
May M. Wakamatsu, MDMay M. Wakamatsu, MD
In electromyography (EMG), which can be part of urodynamic testing for urinary problems, small e...
More Answers
What is an electromyogram (EMG)?
Riverside Center for NeurosciencesRiverside Center for Neurosciences
This test records electrical activity of muscles. Active muscles produce an electrical current w...
More Answers
What is electromyography (EMG) biofeedback?
Debra Fulghum Bruce PhDDebra Fulghum Bruce PhD
 Electromyography (EMG) is a type of biofeedback that provides feedback on muscle tension and works ...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.