EMG and Nerve Conduction

Electromyography (EMG) and Nerve Conduction (NCV), serve as a diagnostic procedure employed to assess
the well-being of muscles and their associated nerves. Through EMG testing, medical professionals can identify potential muscle dysfunction, nerve abnormalities, or any disruptions in the signal transmission between muscles and nerves, providing valuable insights into your overall neuromuscular health.

Why use EMG?

EMG and nerve conduction testing can help physicians diagnose various conditions including, but not limited to:

  • Disorders affecting nerve roots, such as herniated discs in the spine.
  • Peripheral nerve compressions such as carpal tunnel or cubital tunnel syndrome.
  • Peripheral neuropathies such as diabetic neuropathy or inherited neuropathy conditions. Muscle disorders such as muscular dystrophy or polymyositis.
  • Diseases affecting the connection between nerves and muscles, like myasthenia gravis.
    Motor neuron disorders in the brain or spinal cord, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or spinal muscular atrophy.
Doctor measuring patients hand for EMG
Doctor using EMG to assess patient nerves in arm

Why choose Mountain Land?

  • Performed by our residency-trained, board-certified electrophysiologic clinical specialist: Matt Okelberry, PT, DPT, ECS, OCS
  • Clear and concise reports
  • Timely scheduling at convenient locations
  • Reports available by the end of the next business day

Meet our EMG & Nerve Conduction Specialist

Matt Okleberry

Phone: (801) 435-7218
Fax: (801) 495-5301
Email: care@mlpt.com

Matt Okelberry PT, DPT, ECS, OCS

Clinic Director, Physical Therapist

Matt graduated with an Exercise Science degree from Brigham Young University in 2016. He went on to earn his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from South College in 2018. He later went on to complete a residency with EMG Solutions in Nashville, TN.

He is a residency-trained Electrophysiologic Clinical Specialist (ECS) and an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS). He is an expert in nerve testing, excelling in nerve conduction (NCV) and electromyography (EMG). He provides essential information to physicians, aiding in pain source identification and recommending suitable medical interventions and physical therapy options. Matt’s therapy philosophy centers on the belief that “movement is medicine and you can’t go wrong getting strong.” He takes delight in unraveling each patient’s unique puzzle by combining their story, symptoms, and objective data from nerve tests to help them get the best treatment.

What the EMG data tells us

If there is nerve damage (myelin or axon disruption)

  • Is this a focal peripheral nerve compromise, generalized neuropathy, muscle disease, or a more serious underlying neurologic condition such as Lou Gehrig’s disease?

  • Often EMG and nerve conduction testing results are negative and have normal findings. This is still valuable information and may suggest nerve irritation without nerve damage. Patients with this presentation would be excellent candidates for conservative management such as physical therapy to help resolve their symptoms.

Where the compromise is coming from

  • Are numbness and tingling in the hands from a compressive neuropathy of the median nerve, ulnar nerve, a nerve root compromise at the spine (radiculopathy), or a combination of these neuropathies?

  • Is drop foot coming from compression at the knee, radiculopathy from the back, or severe polyneuropathy?

Severity of the compromise

  • Is this a mild focal demyelination likely to respond well to education and conservative management? Or does this involve serious axonal disruption that requires more invasive treatment?

Prognosis of healing potential

  • Is there focal demyelination that has the potential to heal quickly? Is there a documented conduction block that is very likely to resolve with surgical decompression? In the case of axonal injury, is there partial or complete denervation? Follow-up studies can be performed to assess for healing changes in the nerve.

Chronicity of the problem

  • Is this a new and ongoing problem, or is this an old nerve injury that has healed and adapted already?

Utility of EMG/NCS when the clinical diagnosis seems clear

  • Knowing the type of nerve damage (myelin vs axon involvement) helps to determine the best treatments and inform recovery times.

  • A significant number of electrodiagnostic (EDx) studies discover different or additional nerve issues than the referring diagnosis. This may be as high as 1 in 6 patients with clinically diagnosed carpal tunnel syndrome.

  • The severity of compressive neuropathies such as carpal and cubital tunnel syndromes can be graded using established literature based on EDx data.

  • Pre-operative EDx data and severity ratings have been correlated with post-operative prognosis.

  • In the case of unfavorable surgical outcomes, post-operative EDx testing can be compared to pre-operative EDx data.