Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation in Northern California
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EMG/NCV Testing Relieving Pain. Restoring Function. Renewing Hope. 

Northern California EMG & Nerve Conduction Studies

Assessing Muscle & Nerve Function

At NMCI, we have experienced Physiatrists and PM&R specialists available to perform electromyogram (EMG) and nerve conduction studies (NCV). These tests are typically used to determine if you have radiculopathy, at which spine level, and/or other nerve injuries.

  • Electromyogram (EMG) – This test measures the electrical activity in muscles during periods of rest and activity.
  • Nerve Conduction Study (NCV) – This test measures the speed at which nerves send electrical signals to and from the brain.

Nerves are responsible for sending signals to and from the brain in order to make the body move. It is important that these signals have an uninterrupted path to their destination for proper muscle control. If something happens to the nerves, it could effect on your muscles and movement. For example, leg pain and numbness can be caused by nerve damage in the spine. An EMG or NCV can help us determine if the spinal nerves are functioning properly.

If you are experiencing muscle fatigue or soreness for seemingly no reason, contact NMCI Medical Clinic and ask about EMG/NCV testing. We have clinics throughout Northern California.

What to Expect During an NCV

An NCV is a noninvasive test typically done on an outpatient basis. During the exam, electrodes will be placed on your skin near the nerve the doctor suspects is causing problems. Electrodes are noninvasive sticky pads – no injection or skin penetration needed to attach them. The electrode will send a mild electrical impulse to the nerve. Other electrodes attached to the skin will measure the nerve’s response to the stimulation. The speed at which the nerve sends out signals will tell your care team if it is damaged or not.

What to Expect During an EMG

An EMG will sometimes follow an NCV. This test does involve minor skin penetration using a small needle. Electrodes will be placed on the skin for this test as well. Once the needle and electrodes are in place, you will be asked to flex and relax your muscles. The electrical impulses in the muscles will be recorded and provide your care team with information about how effectively they respond to signals from the nerves.

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