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Jaime Ballesteros M.D.
May 20th, 2018

What is an EMG? What is commonly referred to as an EMG is an Electromyography and Nerve Conduction Study . Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS) are used to test a nerves ability to transmit electrical signals. This is done by administering a mild electrical shock and recording it at another point with an electrode. Those responses are helpful in the calculation of conduction velocities (speed and distance).
Why Do I Need an EMG? An EMG and NCS are preformed in conjunction with one another to identify and diagnose neurological disorders such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), Muscular Dystrophy, Neuropathy (malfunction of the nerves), spinal pinched nerves (radiculopathies), acute muscular disorders (myopathy), Myasthenia gravis, and neuromuscular junction disorders.
How Does the EMG Work? During an EMG, Dr. Ballesteros will test several muscles of an extremity(ies) by inserting a small needle into selected muscles. The electrical impulses produced by the muscle will be amplified by the EMG machine so they can be seen and heard by Dr. Ballesteros. Those signals are interpreted by the physician as the test is being done. Often, the results of the test will prompt Dr. Ballesteros to extend the examination in order to ensure an accurate diagnosis.
How Long is the Test? The examination will typically take between 20 and 90 minutes depending on how many nerves need to be tested. You will be advised of the appointment time and length when your appointment is confirmed by the office staff. There may be a small amount of discomfort from the needle and electrical stimulation, which will subside immediately. The day of the exam patients can perform all normal activities such as eating and driving but should refrain from using any body lotion or topical creams in the area to be tested. Tell your doctor if you are taking any medications or have a pacemaker.
What Does an EMG Feel Like? Two electrodes are taped to the patient in the area to be tested (i.e. hand, foot, spine). A dual pronged hand-held device is touched to the skin by Dr. Ballesteros. A mild electrical shock is administered and feels similar to touching a 9 volt battery to your tongue. At times, it will cause your arm or leg to reflex- which is normal. You will be able to resume normal activity immediately follow your EMG.

Jaime Ballesteros M.D

Board Certified
Electrodiagnostic Medicine

G3239 Beecher Rd Suite C
Flint, MI 48532
Phone: 810-732-9222
Fax: 810-732-4344.

Tulane University Hospital
Hurley Medical Center