American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine

View all recommendations from this society

Released February 10, 2015

Don’t do nerve conduction studies without also doing a needle EMG for testing for radiculopathy, a pinched nerve in the neck or back.

For diagnosis of a pinched nerve in the neck or back, nerve conduction studies alone cannot make the diagnosis. Needle EMG is necessary to identify and characterize the disease process.


These items are provided solely for informational purposes and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their physician.

How The List Was Created

The Professional Practice Committee (PPC) of the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine (AANEM) developed this list of recommendations. The PPC includes both neurologists and physical medicine and rehabilitation (PMR) physicians who come from varying practice settings and also includes the AANEM’s representatives to the American Medical Association (AMA) Current Procedural Terminology Panel and Relative Value Update Committee. The PPC members identified areas to be included on this list based on the greatest potential for overuse/misuse, quality improvement and availability of strong evidence-based research/support in the literature. The committee’s recommendations were discussed at an AANEM Board meeting that included chairs from AANEM committees. The PPC reviewed the feedback from this group and voted on the final Top Five recommendations. These were then approved by the AANEM Board of Directors.

AANEM’s disclosure and conflict of interest policy can be found at www.aanem.org.

Sources

Dillingham TR, Lauder TD, Andary M, Kumar S, Pezzin LE, Stephens RT, Shannon S. Identifying lumbrosacral radiculopathies: an optimal electromyographic screen. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2000Nov-Dec;79(6):496-503.

Dillingham TR, Lauder TD, Andary M, Kumar S, Pezzin LE, Stephens RT, Shannon S. Identification of cervical radiculopathies: optimizing the electromyographic screen. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2001 Feb;80(2):84-91.