An electromyogram (EMG) is a test that measures the electrical discharges made by the muscles. It can determine whether muscle weakness or paralysis is due to a nerve problem or to a problem with the muscle itself.
During an electromyogram, a thin needle is placed in a muscle to measure its electrical activity at rest and during use. The needle is attached to a machine with a viewing screen (like a TV) that displays electrical activity in the muscles as waves on the screen.
Current as of: March 12, 2014
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Colin Chalk, MD, CM, FRCPC - Neurology
Public Health Alerts
Public health alerts include information about outbreaks, advisories and product recalls. Click on the links below to read the most recent alerts, or visit our Public Health Alerts web page.
FIND Services and Resources
If you are looking for health services in your community, you can use our directory to FIND hospitals, clinics, and other resources.
To learn more, visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Is it an emergency?
If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be life-threatening. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately. If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.