Electrodiagnosis (EMG/NCV)

What is EMG? Electrodiagnosis.

Dr. Carradine is a specialist who treats disorders of the nerves, muscles, and spinal joints, as well as bones and ligaments. When one of these areas malfunction, she may have difficulty diagnosing the problem just on the basis of knowledge obtained by a medical history and physical examination. In that case, she may order one or more neurological tests. These tests are generally painless, and they will help her help you get better. These tests collectively are called neurodiagnostic tests.

Electromyogram (EMG)

  • confirms presence of carpal tunnel syndrome
  • finds source of radiating arm or leg pain
  • diagnoses pinched nerves and entrapment syndromes

When muscles or nerve fibers in the arms, legs or near the spine are damaged, the extent of the damage can be determined by a two-part test, called the EMG.  This test uses a machine called the electromyogram. The first portion of this test is called the nerve conduction velocity (NCV) determination. During this procedure, Dr. Carradine applies electrodes, which are small gel pads, to the muscle or nerve being examined. Then, using a stimulating probe, Dr. Carradine sends a tiny flow of electrical current into the nerve or muscle, which causes a measurable and predictable reaction that is transmitted by the electrodes to the EMG machine. The EMG machine measures and records this reaction, as well as the amount of response time. This data is valuable in diagnosing various neuromuscular problems. The tiny amount of current used in this test will not injure the nerve or muscle tissue, and it may cause a slight uncomfortable feeling, similar to a mild “crazy bone” sensation.

The second portion of the EMG test is called determination of muscle action. In this procedure, Dr. Carradine inserts into the muscle a small, Teflon-coated, needle-shaped electrode. The patient experiences a sensation like a mosquito bite or a mild pinch. A tiny amount of current is detected in the muscle, and the EMG measures and records the reaction on the machine. The EMG computer generates a photograph of the results. Dr. Carradine can then read these results to diagnose an existing condition, or she can store the results for future comparisons. To schedule an EMG, call our office at 330-758-4446!