What is an EMG/NCV test?
An EMG/NCV test is a two-part diagnostic procedure used to evaluate the health and functionality of nerves and muscles in the body. The tests are typically performed together and complement clinical exams and imaging scans, such as MRI. An EMG/NCV test can provide essential insights that help your Orlin & Cohen specialist make more accurate diagnoses and more effective treatment plans.
An EMG or electromyography test measures electrical activity in your muscles. Your specialist uses the test to pinpoint irregular muscle activity, which can help them identify a range of conditions.
An NCV test is a commonly used abbreviation for a nerve conduction velocity test. As the name implies, it assesses the speed at which electrical impulses travel across your peripheral nervous system.
What are EMG/NCV tests used for?
EMG/NCV tests can help your specialist diagnose and manage conditions such as:
Neuropathies, also known as peripheral neuropathies, involve damage to nerves in the peripheral nervous system. EMG/NCV tests are crucial for diagnosing the condition, assessing its severity, and identifying the affected nerves. Your test results can guide treatment decisions, and follow-up EMG/NCV testing can help your specialists monitor the progress of your conditions, allowing them to tailor your treatment accordingly.
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition caused by the compression of the median nerve in the wrist. EMG/NCV tests can help identify this condition, assess the severity of nerve compression, and help surgeons plan for potential surgery.
Learn more about how to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.
Sciatica is characterized by pain that radiates along the sciatic nerve, often caused by compression of the nerve roots in the lower spine. Your specialist may recommend an EMG/NCV test to pinpoint the location and severity of nerve compression, assisting in determining the best treatment approach, which may involve physical therapy, medication, or surgery. Learn more about how sciatica is treated.
Neck and spine conditions
Various neck and spine conditions, including herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and radiculopathy, can lead to nerve impingement and pain. EMG/NCV tests help Orlin & Cohen’s spine, neck, and back specialists identify the specific nerves affected and the extent of damage. This information is vital for planning appropriate treatment, which may involve conservative approaches like pain management or surgical intervention.
What happens during the EMG/NCV test?
During an electromyography (EMG) test, a tiny pin, known as an electrode, is inserted into specific muscles. This electrode is used to record the electrical activity within the muscles, helping assess muscle function and detect any abnormalities.
When a nerve conduction velocity (NCV) test is performed, small electrodes are placed on your skin at specific points along the nerve pathway. A small electrical impulse is applied to stimulate the nerve, and another electrode records the electrical signals as they travel along the nerve, helping to assess if your nerves are functioning properly.
Is an EMG/NCV test painful?
Patients may experience slight discomfort during an EMG/NCV test, but it’s usually minimal and has no lingering side effects. At Orlin & Cohen, we’re committed to making your experience as comfortable as possible and use a skin spray to reduce or eliminate any pain. Some patients may feel a tingling sensation in response to the electrical stimulation, but in most cases, it’s mild.
EMG/NCV Testing on Long Island
At Orlin & Cohen, our EMG/NCV tests are performed by Dr. Imran Wahedna, an esteemed neurologist and neurophysiologist who is triple board-certified in neurology, neuromuscular medicine, and electrodiagnostic medicine.
With over 20 years of clinical experience and a remarkable track record of more than 17,000 studies performed, Dr. Wahedna’s expertise ensures all EMG/NCV tests are performed with the utmost care and at the highest standards.
Our network of offices throughout Long Island and Queens means a top orthopedic specialist is always close to you.
1101 Stewart Avenue
Garden City, NY
444 Merrick Road
Floor 2 and Floor 3
45 Crossways Park Drive