EMG (Electromyography) involves testing the electrical activity of muscles. EMG testing is performed with another test that measures the conducting function of nerves. This is called an NCS (Nerve Conduction Study).
During an EMG a small needle is inserted into muscles to measure electrical activity. These needles are small, solid, and Teflon coated – unlike hollow hypodermic needles used for injections. Due to these specifics, needle discomfort is much less than that experienced with injections. However, some areas of the skin or muscles may be more sensitive than others.
With Nerve Conduction Studies, electrodes (small stickers) will be taped to your skin or placed around your fingers. You will experience a mild shock that may grow stronger at times. Although this may be a bit unpleasant it is short lasting.
The Doctor administering the EMG/NCS will thoroughly explain the procedure before initiating testing.
EMG/NCS may aid with the diagnosis of nerve compression or injury (such as carpal tunnel syndrome), nerve root injury (such as sciatica), and with other problems of the muscles or nerves.
It is important to make sure you do not use lotion or oils prior to having your EMG/NCS testing. Lotion prevents electrodes from sticking firmly to the skin. This is the only necessary preparation.
Testing ranges from 30-90 minutes depending on the following: diagnosis, areas needing to be tested, and the findings that occur during testing.
EMG/Nerve Conduction Studies