Electrodiagnostic Testing

Electrodiagnostic Testing (EMG/NCS/EP) is used by Dr. Kahn to “listen” to nerves and muscles, to diagnose conditions of the neuromuscular system, just like a cardiologist uses a stethoscope to listen to your heart.

There are many conditions for which this type of testing is medically necessary, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, spinal radiculopathy (“pinched nerves”), neuropathy (common in diabetics), and a variety of other nerve and muscles disorders.

Dr. Kahn has performed over 5,000 tests of this type, and has both taught many other doctors and co-authored a medical textbook chapter on this subject, and is often asked to review and perform this testing by other doctors and insurance companies.

What To Expect

Nerve conduction studies (NCS)

Surface electrodes are applied to the skin, followed by a series of electrical impulses of varying intensity, frequency and duration, described by patients as annoying but not painful. Side to side comparative testing is often performed to establish normal values, or if more than one limb is involved.

Electromyography (EMG)

A thin Teflon coated wire the thickness of two human hairs is inserted below the skin into the muscle being tested. Muscle activity is evaluated at rest, and with varying degrees of effort. Muscles tested may include limbs, paraspinal muscles, or other muscles as necessary. No electrical impulses are applied during EMG testing.

Evoked potentials (EP)

Repetitive stimulation is applied over specific nerves in the arms or legs, with recording from electrodes placed in the scalp, to evaluate nerve pathways between the peripheral nerves, the spinal cord, and brain cortex.

Feel free to bring a favorite CD which can be played during testing! 


Please do not wear any perfume or other fragrance containing products. Do not apply any lotion, creme, or moisturizers to the arms or legs to be tested that day. Do use an abrasive cleanser on your hands or feet if you have dry, thick, or callused skin, depending upon which limbs are to be tested. You may take all of your usual medications on the day of testing, including pain medication, unless otherwise instructed by Dr. Kahn.


  • Pregnancy
  • Coumadin, Plavix, or other anti-clotting agents
  • Pacemakers, spinal cord or brain stimulators, or medication pumps
  • High dose aspirin or non-steroidals
  • Bleeding or clotting disorders (Von Willebrand’s, Factor V Leiden, Hemophilia)
  • Presence of any infectious disease including hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS

These conditions do not necessarily disqualify you from undergoing testing, but may require special precautions, limitations, or delays in testing.


Your test results are reviewed with Dr. Kahn immediately after testing, and you may be referred for additional testing or treatment based on the results. You may return to all pre-testing activities immediately afterward, unless otherwise instructed. Post-testing complaints are rare but you must contact our office immediately if you feel that you are experiencing a significant medical problem. Complaints of muscle soreness and local discomfort at electrode insertion sites are not considered unusual and require no medical intervention except for the usage of Tylenol and ice, unless they persist for more than 24 hours. Contact us immediately if there is excessive bruising, swelling, fever, pain, weakness, numbness, or shortness of breath.