Electromyography (EMG) clinic
The EMG clinic sees patients for any nerve and/or muscle diseases and disorders. Our physicians will consult with you about your nerve and or muscle problems and then tests are done.
We are located at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in the M-Wing ambulatory clinics on the first floor, suite 600.
Referrals should be made by your family doctor or specialist.
About electrodiagnostic medicine
Electrodiagnostic medicine is the study of nerve and muscle diseases. Your doctor has recommended an EMG test to see if your muscles and nerves are working right. You can have nerve/muscle problems in one part of your body, or throughout your body. The results of the tests will help your doctor decide what is wrong and how it can be treated.
EMG and Nerve Conduction Studies FAQ:
Who does the testing?
Sunnybrook’s policy is that an appropriately trained doctor should do all needle EMG testing. A trained technologist under a doctor’s supervision will do the nerve conduction studies.
What kind of medical training do doctors who do EMGs have?
Doctors who do EMGs attend four years of medical school then have three or four more years of training in a residency program. Most work as neurologists or physical medicine and rehabilitation doctors.
Medical training helps the doctor decide which tests to perform based on your symptoms.
Why am I being sent to the EMG Lab for tests?
You are being sent to the electromyography (EMG) lab because you have numbness, tingling, pain, weakness, or muscle cramping. Some of the tests that the EMG doctor may use to diagnose your symptoms are nerve conduction studies (NCSs) and needle EMG. The doctor will examine you to decide which tests to do.
What are Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS)?
NCSs show how well the body’s electrical signals are traveling to a nerve. This is done by applying small electrical shocks to the nerve and recording how the nerve works. These shocks cause a quick, mild, tingling feeling. The technologist may test several nerves during the study.
What is a Needle EMG (Electromyography)?
For this part of the test, a small, thin needle is put in several muscles to see if there are any problems.
A new needle is used for each patient and it is thrown away after the test.
There may be a small amount of pain when the needle is put in. The doctor tests only the muscles necessary to decide what is wrong.
The doctor will look at and listen to the electrical signals that travel from the needle to the EMG machine. The doctor then uses his/her medical knowledge to figure out what could be causing your problem.
How long will these tests take?
The tests usually take 30 to 90 minutes.
You may go about your regular activities, like eating, driving, and exercising, before the tests, and you may resume your normal activities after the tests are complete.
There are no lasting side effects to the tests.
How should I prepare for the tests?
Tell the EMG doctor if you are taking aspirin, blood thinners, have a pacemaker, or have hemophilia.
Prior to the tests, take a bath or shower to remove oil from your skin. Do not use body lotion on the day of the test.
If you have myasthenia gravis, ask your EMG doctor if you should take any medications before the test.
When will I know the test results?
The EMG doctor will discuss your test results with you. The results will be sent to your referring doctor.
Location and contact
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Avenue
M-wing, first floor, room M1 600
Toronto, ON M4N 3M5
Monday - Friday
7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.