Nurse filling a syringe with medication.

Electrodiagnostic Nerve Conduction Study (EMG/EDX)

A test performed by Physiatrists to evaluate the function of the peripheral nervous system, to provide information about the presence, location, degree and prognosis of nerve and muscle disease. It is used to diagnose many common problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome, neck and lower back compressed nerves and diabetic neuropathy.

You have been scheduled for Nerve Conduction and EMG study. The following recommendations will make the test most comfortable for you.

  1. Bring a pair of gym shorts or short pants if it is a lower extremity study or a short sleeve shirt or sleeveless blouse if it is an upper extremity study. The doctor will be able to perform the test and you won’t be required to change into a gown.
  2. DO NOT use any oils, lotions or powders on your extremities or near your neck or spine, (there are adhesive electrodes utilized in the test).

There are two parts to the examination, the two are always performed together:

  1. Nerve Conduction Velocity: This test will identify areas of nerve compression in the extremity being tested. This is known as a peripheral entrapment neuropathy. The most common condition, in example, would be carpal tunnel syndrome at the wrist. This can also determine if there are other neuropathies, (nerve damage) associated with diabetes, among other conditions. To perform nerve conduction, a sensation not unlike that of walking on a carpet and touching a metal object, (static electric shock), is necessary. This stimulates the nerve to fire and provides graphic evidence of the overall health of the nerve being tested along its pathway in the extremity itself.
  2. EMG: This test does not utilize a shock. Instead, the doctor instead, listens to and observes graphic evidence of the nerve supply to the muscle. To listen, there needs to be an antenna introduced into the muscle. Therefore, the use of an acupuncture type of needle is used. There is no shocking involved. Each muscle has 2 or more levels of nerve roots which contribute to its supply. This process enables the doctor to zero in to the exact spinal level(s) where there is nerve compression/damage, which in turn enables the doctor to more accurately diagnose and therefore direct his approach and attention to develop the best treatment options for you.

Please feel free to make an appointment to discuss with your Doctor if you are a candidate for these services or contact one of our care representatives with questions at 315-451-5400.

Please play video for a more detailed understanding for what to expect during the procedure.