Neurodiagnostic Services

Neuro-electrodiagnostic services are provided in our Arlington Heights and Chicago locations through an independent, unaffiliated neurologist. The neurologist conducts electromyograms (EMGs) and/or nerve conduction studies (NCS) to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of certain upper extremity conditions. In some instances, an appointment may be made on the same day of the patient’s visit with a HSA physician.

EMG: An electromyogram (EMG) is a test performed in conjunction with an NCS to obtain additional data about the state of the nerves and muscles. A tiny needle is inserted into a specific muscle and records the electrical activity, both while the muscle is resting and while it contracts. The EMG is coordinated with data from the NCS to determine the causes of numbness and tingling, muscle weakness and pain. It can detect conditions such as pinched nerves in the neck and back, inflamed muscles and is valuable in defining the extent of peripheral nerve conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome and ulnar neuropathy.

NCS: A nerve conduction study (NCS) evaluates the health of a nerve by recording how fast and efficiently an electrical impulse travels through the nerve. The speed and magnitude of an impulse may be reduced in certain neurological injuries and conditions. The test is typically performed by placing electrodes on various areas of the skin.

Neurologist: Scott L. Heller, MD

Dr. Heller graduated from the University of Illinois with Honors and received his M.D. degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine. He completed his neurology residency at Northwestern University, in the Department of Neurology, and completed a two-year Muscular Dystrophy Association fellowship at the Jerry Lewis Neuromuscular Research Center at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Heller is board certified in neurology by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and member of the American Academy of Neurology. He is a faculty member and Associate Clinical Professor of Neurology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and an attending physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Heller is a general neurologist with special interests in neuromuscular disease, neuromuscular pathology and electromyography (EMG).

How to Prepare for an EMG

If you are scheduled for an EMG, here are some instructions to follow before you come in.

Prior to scheduling your test, notify us if you are taking Plavix, blood thinners (like Coumadin), have a pacemaker, or have any other condition that may cause bleeding. These affect only the EMG, not the nerve conduction study, and in most cases you will still be able to have the test performed without any problem.