EMG Nerve Testing: What to expect

When you experience an unexplained numbness, tingling, pain, cramping or muscle weakness, your physician may recommend electrodiagnostic testing to study how your nerves and muscles are working.

A nerve conduction study measures how fast an electrical impulse travels through your nerve. During the test, a small electrical shock will be applied to your nerves to study how the nerve works. You will feel a brief, mild tingling feeling when the electrical shock is applied.

Another test that may be used is a needle EMG test. This is a diagnostic procedure that evaluates the condition of your muscles and the nerve cells that control them. Nerve cells, or motor neurons, transmit electrical signals so your muscles know when to contract and relax. An EMG measures these signals and helps physicians diagnose why you may be experiencing numbness, tingling or muscle weakness.

Watch Dr. Pavlak explain what to expect during electrodiagnostic testing.

Spectrum Orthopaedics was the first electrodiagnostic medicine laboratory north of Boston to earn accreditation with exemplary status by the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine (AANEM). Douglas Pavlak, MD, FAAPMR is Director of our EMG laboratory and has performed over 56,000 electrodiagnostic consultations and studies. He is board certified in both physical medicine and electrodiagnostic medicine.

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