Electromyography (EMG) and Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS) are invaluable diagnostic tools. When an injured worker sustains a possible neurologic injury, causing symptoms of pain, numbness, tingling, burning, or weakness, EMG and NCS provide the roadmap to locate and evaluate the type and severity of an injury and to rule out other potential medical conditions.

During the performance of an EMG, the examining physician inserts a small needle into the muscle to detect and assess any damage. Muscle activity is evaluated both while the muscle is at rest and during voluntary contraction. During NCS, mild electrical stimulation is applied directly over the nerve(s) in increasing strength to measure a response from motor and sensory nerves.

Quality EMG and NCS help to determine the right course of treatment, such as whether surgery or physical therapy may be required. But poor quality EMG and NCS can lead to unnecessary surgery, extended disability, delayed return to work, and overall costly claim outcomes.

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