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EMG Specialist

Leia Rispoli, MD

Interventional Pain Medicine located in Newport Beach, CA & Marina Del Rey, CA

Dysfunctional nerves can cause severe pain, resulting in chronic numbness, burning, and eventual loss of function. NCS (nerve conduction study) and EMG (electromyography) studies provide testing to detect how well your nerves are functioning, and whether your muscle properly responds to your nerves’ stimulus. Leia Rispoli, MD, uses this technology to help you find treatment options for your discomfort. Call the office in Marina Del Rey or Newport Beach, California, or book an appointment online today.


What is EMG?

EMG stands for electromyography, a test to detect neuromuscular abnormalities. The electrodiagnostic technology is used for people seeking to diagnose, assess, or treat their nerve dysfunction symptoms. Dr. Rispoli often uses nerve conduction studies to identify any nerve damage.  

Because your nerves use electricity to send messages to and from your brain and spinal cord, electrodes help detect the electrical activity in your nervous system.

What conditions can EMG diagnose?

EMGs use advanced technology that can diagnose several conditions related to nerve and muscle complications, including:

  • Pinched nerves
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Radiculopathy

EMG and nerve conduction studies can also identify autoimmune disorders, such as Myasthenia gravis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, and diseases like Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease).

What should I expect when receiving EMG?

At Leia Rispoli, MD, Dr. Rispoli first explains the EMG and nerve conduction study procedure, ensuring you feel educated and comfortable with the process.

After confirming any medical conditions you might have and that you are not taking medications that could complicate the procedure, Dr. Rispoli prepares you for the test. 

She cleans your skin with an antiseptic solution and has you sit or lie down, ensuring you feel as comfortable as possible. To test if your muscles are working properly in response to your nerve’s stimulus, she uses EMG. 

She inserts needle electrodes in different locations on your skin to reach your muscles and then displays the electrical activity that the electrodes identify. EMG measures your muscle’s electrical activity during rest, slight contraction, and forceful contraction. 

Dr. Rispoli typically conducts a nerve conduction study at the same time as the EMG test to identify any nerve damage or a nerve disorder. 

For this test, she places surface electrodes on your skin where you’re experiencing the symptoms and has one electrode stimulate your nerve with a mild electrical impulse. The speed of the electrical impulse throughout your nerves determines if there are any nerve issues present. 

Once the electrodes are secured, you may feel a tiny spasm as they transmit a small electrical current. Dr. Rispoli assesses if there is any spontaneous activity within your muscles when they’re at rest and the activity of your muscles when you slightly contract them. If you express discomfort throughout the exam, Dr. Rispoli accommodates your needs. 

After the exam, Dr. Rispoli interprets your results and discusses possible treatments.

To learn more about EMG, call the office of Leia Rispoli, MD, or request an appointment online today.