July 21, 2014

Neurologic Testing

Electrophysiologic studies, including electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies, are available through this center. Referrals are made through one of our associate clinics.

EMG is a test that checks the health of the muscles and the nerves that control the muscles.The health care provider will insert a very thin needle electrode through the skin into the muscle. The electrode on the needle picks up the electrical activity given off by your muscles. This activity appears on a nearby monitor, and may be heard through a speaker. After placement of the electrodes, you may be asked to contract the muscle. For example, bending your arm. The electrical activity seen on the monitor provides information about your muscle’s ability to respond when the nerves to your muscles are stimulated.

Nerve conduction velocity (NCV) is a test to see how fast electrical signals move through a nerve. Patches called surface electrodes, similar to those used for ECG, are placed on the skin over nerves at various locations. Each patch gives off a very mild electrical impulse, which stimulates the nerve. The nerve’s resulting electrical activity is recorded by the other electrodes. The distance between electrodes and the time it takes for electrical impulses to travel between electrodes are used to determine the speed of the nerve signals.