Now accepting TELEHEALTH appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.

Nerve Tests

Spine Center and Orthopedic Rehabilitation of Englewood, PC

Pain Management & Physical Therapy located in Englewood, NJ

If you have pain but aren’t sure why, your doctor may recommend nerve tests to identify the overactive nerves or damaged muscles responsible for your pain. At the Spine Center and Orthopedic Rehabilitation of Englewood, PC, in Englewood, the team may recommend nerve conduction studies (NCS) or needle electromyography (EMG) to diagnose the source of your pain, and then custom-design treatments to repair damage or block nerves. To find out what’s causing your pain, contact Spine Center and Orthopedic Rehabilitation of Englewood, PC, for nerve tests by phone.

Nerve Tests Q & A

What are nerve tests?

If you have chronic pain or mobility issues, your Spine Center and Orthopedic Rehabilitation of Englewood, PC, provider might recommend nerve tests to find out if your nerves and muscles are healthy. They use the results of nerve tests to determine where the source of your pain or symptoms is located and devise a strategy to resolve it. They may recommend a nerve conduction study (NCS), needle electromyography (EMG), or both.

What is a nerve conduction study?

A nerve conduction study (NCS) is a noninvasive test that stimulates a nerve to see how quickly electrical impulses move through it. Your doctor uses NCS to find out if your nerve is transmitting signals properly.

Your doctor attaches two electrode patches to your skin, directly above the nerve they’re testing. One electrode sends a signal through the nerve, while the other electrode records the electrical activity of the nerve during the stimulation. Your doctor determines how quickly the impulse moves through the nerve by measuring how long it takes to move from one patch to the other. 

Why do I need a nerve conduction study?

If you have symptoms like tingling, numbness, or chronic pain, your doctor may recommend a nerve conduction study. They may also recommend the test if you have:

  • Sciatica
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Chronic inflammatory polyneuropathy and neuropathy
  • Herniated or slipped disc
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome

 If the tested nerves are normal, your doctor may recommend EMG. 

What is needle electromyography?

Needle electromyography (EMG) assesses the health of your muscles and motor neurons (i.e., the nerves that make them flex and relax). Instead of placing electrodes on your skin, your doctor inserts sterile, single-use needle electrodes in your muscles. The needle electrodes measure the speed and strength of electrical activity in your muscle. 

Why should I get a needle EMG?

Your doctor may order a needle EMG if you have symptoms like tingling or numbness, or muscle cramps, spasms, and weakness. They may use needle EMG to help diagnose or rule out:

  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Polymyositis
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Peripheral neuropathies
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Polio
  • Herniated disc

Your doctor often performs a nerve conduction study and an EMG at the same time to get a full picture of how healthy or damaged your nerves and muscles are. 

To schedule a nerve test, contact Spine Center and Orthopedic Rehabilitation of Englewood, PC, by phone.


Preparing for your EMG/NCS

Please remove any jewlery prior to your exam. You may wear deodorant but do not apply any lotions, oils or powder to the skin as this may interfere with electrodes. 

The test will take approximately 60 minutes. You can do normal activites, like eating, driving, and exercising before and after the test. There are no lasting effects.