Electromyography and nerve conduction testing 

Our muscles and nerves react to each other to create movement. If one or both don’t work correctly, or are impacted by injury or a disorder, it can cause pain, numbness, tingling and weakness. 

Electromyography (EMG) tests look at the electrical signals of muscles to determine if they are properly responding to nerve signals. An EMG is often performed with a nerve conduction study to measure how fast and well your body's electrical signals travel to your nerves. This helps diagnose nerve damage or disease. Together, these tests determine if the electrical activity of your muscles and nerves is normal. 

EMG and nerve conduction tests can help diagnose: 

  • Nerve compression or injury
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Sciatica
  • Herniated disc
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome 
  • Muscular dystrophy (MD) or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Other conditions of the nerves or muscles 

What to expect

During your EMG test, a physical therapist will place a sterile needle electrode into your muscle. Most patients feel slight pinch or discomfort when the electrode is inserted. The electrode will record the muscle activity while you are at rest and when you slowly tighten the muscle. The electrode may be moved to record activity in different muscles depending on the area of your body being tested.

For a nerve conduction study, an electrode will also be used and attached to one or more of your nerves to deliver a mild electrical impulse. This will stimulate your nerve and send a signal to your muscle. The response time between the signal and muscle reaction helps to determine if there is an issue. 

Once we have your tests results, we will report them to your physician within 48 hours. Depending on their recommendation, KORT offers same week appointments and can create an individualized treatment plan specific to your unique needs. 

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