EMG Testing

EMG (electromyography) and NCV (nerve conduction velocity) testing is offered at Island Rheumatology and Osteoporosis, P.C. by residency-trained and board-certified electrophysiologist Dr. Scott Paskiewicz. 

EMG (electromyography) and NCV (nerve conduction velocity) testing are commonly performed to diagnose and monitor conditions that affect the muscles and nerves. These tests are often done together to provide a complete evaluation of the neuromuscular system.

During an EMG, small electrodes are placed on the skin to detect and record the electrical activity of the muscles. This can help determine if there is any muscle damage or abnormal muscle activity. NCV testing, on the other hand, measures the speed and intensity of electrical signals as they travel along the nerves. This can help identify nerve damage or compression.

To prepare for an EMG and NCV test, there are a few things you should keep in mind:


  1. Avoid applying any creams or lotions to your skin on the day of the test, as they can interfere with the electrode placement.
  2. Dress comfortably and wear loose-fitting clothing that can easily be removed to access the muscles and nerves being tested.
  3. Inform your doctor if you have a bleeding disorder, are taking blood-thinning medications, or have any other concerns about the test.
  4. Avoid caffeine and other stimulants on the day of the test, as they can affect your body’s electrical activity.
  5. Communicate any discomfort or pain you may be experiencing to the healthcare professional performing the test. They can adjust the technique or provide pain relief if needed.


During the test, small needles called electrodes will be inserted into the muscles being evaluated. You may experience some discomfort or pain during this part of the test, but it is usually well tolerated. Afterward, the electrical activity of the muscles and nerves will be recorded and analyzed. The entire procedure typically takes about 30-60 minutes to complete.

Dr. Scott Paskiewicz
Dr. Scott Paskiewicz

It is important to note that EMG and NCV tests are safe procedures and are generally well tolerated by patients. They provide valuable information to diagnose and manage a variety of neuromuscular conditions. If you have any questions or concerns about the test, be sure to discuss them with your healthcare provider beforehand.

EMG/NCV testing can help diagnose a range of conditions affecting the muscles and nerves. 

Some common conditions that can be diagnosed through these tests include:

  1. Peripheral neuropathy: EMG/NCV can help identify nerve damage and determine the severity and extent of peripheral neuropathy, a condition characterized by numbness, tingling, and weakness in the limbs.
  2. Radiculopathy: This refers to nerve root compression or irritation, often caused by herniated discs or spinal stenosis. EMG/NCV can pinpoint the location and severity of the nerve compression.
  3. Carpal tunnel syndrome: EMG/NCV can detect nerve dysfunction in the hand and wrist, helping diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome, which is characterized by pain, numbness, and tingling in the hand and fingers.
  4. Myopathy: EMG can evaluate the electrical activity of muscles to diagnose muscle disorders such as myopathy, which is characterized by weakened or wasted muscles.
  5. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS): EMG can help identify the characteristic muscle and nerve dysfunction seen in ALS, a progressive neurodegenerative disease.
  6. Guillain-Barré syndrome: EMG/NCV testing can assist in diagnosing this rare autoimmune disorder that affects the peripheral nervous system, causing muscle weakness and paralysis.

These are just a few examples, and EMG/NCV testing can also be used to diagnose other conditions such as muscular dystrophy, myasthenia gravis, and nerve injuries. The test results, along with a thorough clinical evaluation, help guide treatment decisions and monitoring of the condition.

In summary, EMG/NCV testing can help diagnose conditions affecting the muscles and nerves, such as peripheral neuropathy, radiculopathy, carpal tunnel syndrome, myopathy, ALS, Guillain-Barré syndrome, and others. These tests provide valuable information about the electrical activity and conduction of nerves and muscles, aiding in the accurate diagnosis and management of these conditions.

Island Rheumatology and Osteoporosis, PC