Mercer-Bucks Orthopedics
Mercer-Bucks Orthopedics

Our Services / EMG

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About EMG

Testing the electrical activity of muscles allows your physician to diagnose the cause of pain better. At Mercer-Bucks Orthopaedics (MBO) with offices in Hamilton, Lawrenceville, Princeton, and Marlton, New Jersey, and Langhorne, Pennsylvania, the board-certified orthopaedic specialists use electromyography to diagnose a wide range of pain conditions, from sciatica to carpal tunnel syndrome. Call MBO or schedule an appointment online to learn more.


What is EMG?

EMG, or electromyography, is a diagnostic tool to evaluate your nerve and muscle health. The procedure can help diagnose a number of neuromuscular conditions by measuring the electrical activity of the tested muscle. Depending on the results of the test, EMG can reveal dysfunction in the muscles or nerves.

What can EMG diagnose?

The orthopaedic specialists at MBO use EMG to diagnose a broad range of conditions that cause nerve or muscle dysfunction, including:

Carpal tunnel syndrome

The carpal tunnel is a small canal that runs through the wrist and hand. This passageway contains the median nerve. When repetitive motions or injury compresses the median nerve, a condition called carpal tunnel syndrome can develop and cause chronic pain in the fingers, hands, and wrist.


The sciatic nerve stretches from the lower back down to the hips, buttocks, and back of the thighs. Compression of this nerve from an injury or degenerative condition, such as a herniated disc, can cause one-sided pain, tingling, and weakness in the lower back and legs.

Peripheral neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that occurs outside of the brain and spinal cord. The condition can cause pain, numbness, and tingling in the hands and feet. While many conditions can lead to peripheral neuropathy, the most common is diabetes.

Stiff muscles

Muscles that feel tight and rigid may be the result of sprains or strains from physical activity. Muscle pain and rigidity can also develop if you have an infection or underlying condition.

What happens during EMG?

During EMG testing, your physiatrist inserts tiny needles, or electrodes, into your muscles through the skin. An outside monitor then displays the electrical activity from the affected nerves and muscles. EMG measures the electrical activity in your muscles when they’re contracting slightly, more aggressively, and at rest.

Your affected muscles may feel sore after the procedure, but these mild side effects should subside within a few days. After the test, your physician creates a report to discuss your results with you and take the appropriate next steps for treatment.

To learn more about EMG, call Mercer-Bucks Orthopaedics or schedule an appointment online today.