Electromyography (EMG) and Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS) are utilized to help evaluate disorders of the nerves and muscles.
Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS)
This test shows how well the body’s electrical signals travel along the nerve pathways. This is done by applying a mild electrical shock over the nerve and recording how the nerve (sensory nerve) or muscle (motor nerve) reacts to the stimulus. These shocks cause a quick, mild, tingling sensation. Nerve conduction studies stimulate but do not injure the nerves. It is normal to have some tingling sensations that may persist after the test.
For this part of the test, a recording electrode (thin disposable needle) is inserted into several muscles in order to evaluate muscle function. A new disposable needle electrode is used for each patient. There may be a small amount of discomfort when the needle is inserted. The doctor will look and listen to the electrical signals recorded by the EMG machine. He/she then interprets these signals.
The complete test (NCS and EMG) lasts 40 – 60 minutes. You may return to your normal activities after the test.
Some bruising or aching sensations may persist at the sites of needle insertion after the test.
Tell the doctor
- if you have a PACEMAKER or DEFIBRILLATOR
- if you are taking aspirin or blood thinners (like Coumadin, Heparin, Aggrenox, Pradaxa or Plavix), or if you have hemophilia or other bleeding problems.