Electrodiagnostic Testing

emg

What is NCV/EMG testing?

 

Nerve conduction testing (NCV) measures the health of the nerve. It calculates the speed or velocity of the nerve as well as measuring the amplitude. This gives the physician information on whether the nerve myelin sheath has been injured and the extent of the injury. Electromyography, or EMG, tests the electrical activity of muscles, which can often be indicative of nerve damage that originates from the spine verses actual muscle diseases.

 

What are the risks?

 

There are minimal risks to the patient. The needle portion of the exam may cause possible bruising if on blood thinners, infection or bleeding.

 

Does it hurt?

 

The procedure is mildly uncomfortable. There are low voltage zaps which may startle the patient during the NCV testing that is not painful, but possibly uncomfortable for sensitive patients. The EMG portion of the test uses acupuncture size needles, very, very tiny that are inserted into a few muscles for 1-2 seconds to read the electrical activity of the muscle and to see if the muscle has been damaged.

 

How does it help me?

 

NCV/ EMG is a very helpful study. It helps to differentiate the cause of the nerve pain such as a compression injury like carpal tunnel syndrome. The study can also show if a patient suffers from peripheral neuropathy, or spinal nerve root injury known as radiculopathy. It can also diagnose myopathies and other serious muscle diseases such as myasthenia gravis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and muscular dystrophy.