process of recording the electrical activity of muscles And the most important thing we know
process of recording the electrical activity of muscles، In our organism electrochemical processes take place, which, in other words, means that our body generates electricity or more properly electric impulses, although, of course, of low intensity. Any muscle or muscle group in the body produces these electrical impulses (let’s clarify that such impulses are actually generated by the nerves that innervate the muscles). As with the electrical activity that occurs in the brain, muscle activity can also be recorded by a device called an electromyograph, which provides a graphic record called the electromyogram.
process of recording the electrical activity of muscles
This registry provides very valuable information based on the electrical activity of the muscles (whether by absence, by excess or by defect), on the basis of which numerous conditions of the muscles can be diagnosed, and even determine the exact anatomic location of the problem, and all with great objectivity and promptness.
What is an electromyogram or electromyography?
It is a neurophysiological diagnostic test whose purpose is to know the functioning of the peripheral nervous system (muscles and nerves and nerves that innervate them), which allows to determine if such functioning is adequate or not, that is, if the situation is normal or there is some pathological alteration.
It consists in the graphic recording of the electrical activity of the different muscles of the body.
For the electromyographic record, a very fine needle is used, which is inserted into the muscle or area to be scanned. Surface electrodes, which are small metal discs, can also be used, although it is much less common. The basis of the technique is that the muscles, when contracting, emit electric shocks that are picked up by the device known as electromyograph. Depending on how they are discharged, they will indicate that the situation is normal or that there is some injury or pathological alteration.
The usual thing is that an electroneurographic study is carried out simultaneously with the electromyographic exploration, which consists of the recording of the electrical activity of the peripheral nerves that innervate the muscles.
What is an electromyogram or electromyography?
Actually there are many situations that justify the practice of an electromyogram, given that this test allows to determine if there is a muscular or neurological damage in the person to whom it is performed. The main indication of the electromyogram is the study and diagnosis of disorders or diseases whose symptoms are loss of strength or muscle mass, weakness, paresthesias (tingling or numbness), cramps and others.
Likewise, the electromyogram can confirm or rule out the existence of degenerative muscular or neurological diseases, such as dystrophies, sclerosis and others. It is also used in the diagnosis of diabetic neuropathy, a complication that affects patients with poorly controlled diabetes .
In addition to being able to diagnose a wide variety of disorders or neuromuscular diseases, the electromyogram allows to locate with remarkable accuracy the injured area (a hand, an arm, a leg), or determine that it is something more diffuse. And not only this; it also allows to identify the type of structure affected: a nerve, a muscle …
Another utility of the electromyogram is the control and monitoring of neuromuscular diseases or disorders initially diagnosed, that is, the study of their evolution and, for example, the effectiveness of the treatment that may have been established.
Finally, it also serves as expert evidence in the judicial field to determine if a person suffers from a certain injury. Note that a positive test result demonstrates the existence of an injury; however, a negative result does not rule out the presence of it.
How it is performed?
The electromyogram (and also the electroneurogram that is usually performed simultaneously) is practiced in a Neurophysiology cabinet at any time of the day and without the need for the person to undergo any special preparation.
The patient must remain seated or lying on a stretcher depending on the area or areas that they will explore, as relaxed as possible and in a cooperative attitude. You must strip the area of the body that is to be studied. Once in this position, the health professional will place a series of electrodes in the form of very fine needle that is introduced into the muscle or muscle group under study. These electrodes are connected to a machine called an oscilloscope.
The electrodes will emit electrical impulses that will cause slight involuntary contractions of the muscles in which they are inserted and, in turn, these contractions will generate electrical activity that will be captured by the electrodes and transmitted to the oscilloscope, where it will be recorded.
This is a type of record that is performed with the muscle at rest and only subjected to stimulation by electrodes. At another time of the test, the professional performing the examination will ask the patient to perform certain movements to record the electrical activity of the muscles when they are voluntarily and consciously contracted by the patient.
The duration of the test varies depending on the areas to be explored. Normally, it lasts 20 to 30 minutes.