The electrical evaluation of nerves to diagnose neurologic disease has been collectively called electromyography (EMG). A subset of studies that measure the electrical conductivity of nerves is called nerve conduction studies (NCS). These techniques have a long history of diagnosing a number of different neurologic problems such as peripheral neuropathy, entrapment neuropathy (such as carpal tunnel), and nerve root injuries. EMG for most neurologic diseases is very sensitive and helpful in discovering where the neurologic problem is and what its possible causes may be.
An EMG does require the use of small needles being placed underneath the skin into the muscles that are being examined. This needle is smaller than an insulin needle and produces some pain but is generally easy to tolerate; therefore, you should not be worried about the test itself. The results that an EMG generates are very helpful to the treating physician in managing the neurologic problems that are discovered.