EMG Testing

Why did your doctor order this study?

Electromyography (EMG) and Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS) are used to detect problems with the nerves and muscles and can help diagnose nerve damage. The test usually will take about 30-60 minutes or less.

What can you expect?

For the NCS, electrodes will be placed on your skin and the physician will give you a series of small electric impulses over your nerve to see how well your nerve transmits the signal. This feels like the static electric shock when you touch a door knob in the winter after walking on carpet.

For the EMG, a thin pin needle is inserted into your muscle to see how your muscle is working. This feels like a bug bite.

What should you do to prepare for your test?

• Bathe or shower the day of your study.
• DO NOT apply any powder, lotions, oils or creams.
• Arrive 20 minutes early.
• Bring non white shorts and loose shirt (t-shirt/sleeveless shirt/sports bra) to wear during the test to easily perform your test.
• Take all of your regularly scheduled medications.
• Alert your doctor if you are on any blood thinners like Coumadin or Plavix
• Alert your doctor if you have any implantable devices (pacemaker, defibrillator, spinal pumps, etc) or if you are pregnant.

What can you expect after the test?

• If you are a little sore after the study, you may ice the areas where the EMG pin was inserted.
• Drink plenty of fluids and resume your normal schedule and activities.