Nerve conduction velocity studies and electromyography (EMG) assist our providers in making a very specific diagnosis if our patients have (or are suspected of having) neurologic deficits, including radiating pain, numbness or tingling.
Why it is used
NCV/EMGs are ordered for nerve entrapments, neuropathies, including carpal tunnel, generalized nerve diseases known as polyneuropathy and any sort of trauma-related nerve injury.
It is also very effective in diagnosing and allowing us to better treat sciatica, a pinched nerve at the level of the spine, as compared with peripheral nerve injuries away from the spine, such as carpal tunnel.
Determining nerve and muscle disorders
In addition to identifying neurological deficits, this testing helps us distinguish between nerve and muscle disorders, the severity and extent of the disease, and helps categorize the type of injury.
Primary muscle diseases include, but are not limited to:
- Muscular dystrophy
- Alcoholic myopathies
Getting the test
NCVs are safe and well-tolerated by most patients. NCV/EMGs are considered an invasive procedure because the nerves are stimulated with micro-needles and a mild electric current. It has been described as a sensation similar to “hitting your funny bone,” though the feeling only lasts a few seconds. The responses of the nerve are measured and noted, giving us an abundance of information that we can use to better treat these conditions and diagnose nerve damage, dysfunction or destruction as well as determine muscular diseases.
If you are experiencing numbness, tingling, weakness or radiating pain, this test might be a useful resource for our staff to better treat your symptoms by identifying the cause and root of the pain.