At NMCI, we have experienced Physiatrists and PM&R specialists available to perform EMG/NCV testing.
An electromyogram (EMG) measures the electrical activity of muscles when they’re at rest and when they’re being used. Nerve conduction studies measure how well and how fast the nerves can send electrical signals.
Nerves control the muscles in the body with electrical signals called impulses. These impulses make the muscles react in certain ways. Nerve and muscle problems cause the muscles to react in ways that aren’t normal.
If you have leg pain or numbness, you may have these tests to find out which nerves are being affected and how much they are affected. These tests check how well your spinal nerves are working. They also check the nerves in your arms and legs.
From the ODG GUIDELINES:
EMG: Recommended as an option (needle, not surface). EMGs (electromyography) may be useful to obtain unequivocal evidence of radiculopathy, after 1-month conservative therapy, but EMG’s are not necessary if radiculopathy is already clinically obvious.
EMG’s may be required by the AMA Guides for an impairment rating of radiculopathy.
From ACOEM GUIDELINES Page 238:
When there’s failure to progress in a strengthening program attended to avoid surgery. Special studies are not needed unless a four-week program of conservative care and observation fails to improve symptoms. EMG/NCV study if cervical radiculopathy is suspected as a cause of lateral arm pain.
For possible Carpal Tunnel:
Recommended in patients with clinical signs of CTS who may be candidates for surgery. Appropriate electrodiagnostic studies (EDS) include nerve conduction studies (NCS). Carpal tunnel syndrome must be proved by positive findings on clinical examination and should be supported by nerve conduction tests before surgery is undertaken. Mild CTS with normal electrodiagnostic studies (EDS) exists, but moderate or severe CTS with normal EDS is very rare. Positive EDS in asymptomatic individuals is not CTS. There is minimal justification for performing nerve conduction studies when a patient is presumed to have symptoms on the basis of radiculopathy.
An EMG/NCV is done to:
- Find problems that damage muscle tissue, nerves, or the spots where nerves and muscles join. These problems may include a
- Find the cause of weakness, paralysis, or muscle twitching. Problems in a muscle or the nerves going to a muscle can cause these symptoms. So can problems in the spinal cord or the area of the brain that controls a muscle. The EMG does not show brain or spinal cord diseases.:
- Find damage to the peripheral nervous system. This includes all the nerves that lead away from the brain and spinal cord. It also includes the smaller nerves that branch out from those nerves.