What is an EMG/NCS
Your Doctor has ordered a test called EMG/NCS, which stands for electromyography with nerve conduction study. The test evaluates the healthiness of nerves and muscles. An EMG helps establish a diagnosis and the extent of a problem by evaluating the electrical properties of a muscle during rest, gentle effort and full effort. The NCS test measures the nature and speed of impulse conduction along a nerve.
Commonly evaluated conditions
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Nerve entrapment
- Pinched nerves / radiculopathy
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Numbness, tingling or pain
Benefits of the test
- Clarify treatment options / prognosis and determine if surgery might be helpful.
- Views actual nerve and muscle function.
- May include physiatry consultation
The NCS Procedure
- Recording electrodes are attached to your skin.
- Stimulating electrodes are held against your skin over a nerve.
- A tiny electrical impulse is sent through your nerve to determine if there is any nerve damage.
The EMG Procedure
One or more sterile wire electrodes are gentley inserted into a muscle. The muscle is initially tested at rest, then you will be asked to slowly contract the muscle being tested.
How to prepare for these tests?
Bathe or shower on the day of the test. Do not use any oils, lotions or creams on your skin. You may take two extra strength acedtaminophen (Tylenol) the morning of the tests (ask your doctor).
At the test:
Your medical history will be taken. You will get a focused physical examination.
After the test
You may feel tenderness or soreness in the tested muscle for a few hours. To relieve any discomfort apply ice and take an over the counter pain reliever.