EMG – Electromyogram

The human body has over 600 voluntary muscles controlled by the brain. When an effort is required, the brain uses the nerves to send an electric signal for the muscles to contract. Our daily actions are performed through these remarkable mechanics.

An EMG is a test used to diagnose muscles and nerve related problems, for example, a pinched nerve in the wrist, neck or lower back. An electromyogram measures the electrical activity of muscles at rest and during contraction; while nerve conduction studies measure how well and how fast the nerves can send electrical signals.

The EMG exam is ordered to patients presenting nerves and muscles related symptoms, such as:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Weakness

How to access our services?

You need a physician’s referral to get an appointment and pass this exam.

The EMG exam is provided by the Neurology Clinic.

About The Program

What to bring

  • Valid Health Card
  • List of all your medications, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, supplements and herbal medicines

Preparation for the exam

  • Eat normally and take your usual medication.
  • Please ensure that the skin area to be tested is clean, dry and free of any oils or creams.
  • Wear a short sleeve shirt if your symptoms are in your arms or hands.
  • If your symptoms are in your legs, bring a pair of shorts or loose fitting pants.

When you arrive

  • Please use the Main Entrance and register at one of the self-serve kiosks at least 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment. Clerks are available to help with the registration process.
  • Upon registering, take a “puck”. It will buzz and light up when your turn comes up and indicate in which room to report.
  • Use the Cardiology door to go to your exam room.
  • Room numbers and other public interest messages are presented on the TV screens.

How the exam is performed

  • The test consists of two parts, done during two different appointments. The first part is a nerve conduction study done by a technician. The second part is a consultation with the neurologist.
  • For the nerve conduction study, the technician applies electrodes on your skin near the nerve to be studied, then sends brief and low intensity electrical pulses to the nerve. The electrodes collect and transmit data to a computer.
  • The nerve conduction study takes from 30 to 40 minutes.
  • The consultation with the neurologist may include an EMG needle examination.
  • In the needle examination, the neurologist gently inserts an electrode similar to an acupuncture needle into the muscle. The electrode records the muscle’s electrical activity and transmits the information to a computer. This may be done to study a number of muscles, with a number of needle insertions.
  • The needle examination may take from 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Both tests are painless, but they may cause discomfort. Most patients tolerate them well. Your usual daily activities will not be affected after the exam.

Exam results

  • The test results will be sent to the referring physician within 10 to 15 working days.
  • Results will also be available in your electronic medical record. For information on the creation of an account and how to access your electronic medical record, visit MyChart.
  • You may ask the neurologist for a written preliminary report. 

The team

  • Neurologists
  • EMG technicians

Business Hours

Monday to Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

To book an appointment

Toll-free: 1-800-790-8870, option 1

To reach the Neurology Clinic

613-632-1111, extension 51201
Fax: 613-636-6178


HGH – Main Campus
1111 Ghislain Street
Hawkesbury, ON K6A 3G5

The Neurology Clinic is located in Block A, level 1. View a hospital plan.

Referring a patient for an EMG exam at HGH

To refer a patient, please use Ocean or download, fill out and fax the referral form to 613-636-6175.

Appointment booking line: 1-800-790-8870, extension 82500


The Hawkesbury and District General Hospital (HGH) provides more than 40 specialized medical clinics for residents of Prescott-Russell and surrounding region. For a list of clinics, departments and services, visit Refer a patient.