Some Conditions in which EMG can be useful:

* Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
* Injuries: Workers Compensation /Occupational Medicine
* Cervical and lumbar radiculopathy
* Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome (a foot pain syndrome)
* Polyneuropathy (including diabetic, other metabolic causes)
* Neuropathy (any nerve)
* Spasticity Management
* Musculoskeletal / Sport / Orthopedic Injuries
* Back and Neck pain
* Independent Medical Examination (IME)
* Company Medical Examination
* Numbness, tingling, pain or weakness in any part of the body

Wrist pain

What is EMG/NCS ?

Electromyography (EMG) has several components. The most frequently encountered tests are needle EMG, Nerve Conduction Studies – NCS (also called Nerve Conduction Testing) and Evoke Potentials. Generally, each patient requires only one or two parts of the test.


Needle EMG

Needle EMG involves testing selected muscles to help establish any abnormality present. A very small (thin) needle is inserted into each muscle selected. The needle is connected to a computer, which provides information for the doctor conducting the test to interpret. Occasionally few patients experience some discomfort when the needle is inserted. However most patients tolerate the procedure very well. One disposable sterile needle is used for the test.

Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS)

During Nerve Conduction Studies, your EMG doctor will test different nerves to determine if they are conducting the body’s electrical activities normally. You will be connected to a computer (EMG machine) and the nerve being tested will receive very small electric shocks. 

The electric shocks received are not harmful. Patients may feel some mild tingling or shock. Occasionally few patients experience some discomfort when the shocks are applied. However, most patients tolerate the procedure very well.

Center for Pain and Rehab Medicine

Evoke Potentials

Evoke Potentials test the nerves that pass through the spinal cord. You will also be connected to an EMG machine and have very small shocks applied to the nerves being tested, be stimulated by light or sound. The response generated are recorded from the scalp/skin and transferred to a computer where it can be analyzed and interpreted by your EMG doctor.

Your EMG Doctor – Electromyographer

Your EMG doctors are typically MD’s or DO’s who have had four years of medical school training, a year of Internship and specialty training in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R- is called Physiatry pronounced fizz ee at’ try), and Neurology. During residency training some EMG training is often acquired. After the completion of Residency some Physiatrists and Neurologists complete additional training in the form of a Fellowship in EMG to expand on the limited training obtained in Residency.

Preparing for the EMG Test

The test may last from twenty minutes to about two hours.

You can continue your normal activities including any restriction prior to the test. There are no special precautions required. However, it is very important that you inform your EMG doctor if you have a bleeding disorder, if you are taking any blood thinning medication, or if you have a pacemaker. Your EMG doctor will also perform a history and physical examination prior to the test. After your EMG Test is completed

You may resume normal activities unless instructed otherwise by your EMG doctor. There are no expected side effects from the test. The test results will be discussed with you or sent to your primary care/referring physician.