What is an EMG-NCS test?
- An EMG-NCS, also known as “Electromyography and Nerve Conduction Tests”, is a test of the nerves and muscles of your arms / legs.
- The EMG/NCS study examines the integrity of the peripheral nerves and muscles of the body.
- The study does NOT examine the brain or spinal cord.
- It is important to realize that you can have a nerve or muscle problem, even though you may not “think” you have any nerve or muscle problems.
- This test does NOT measure pain.
- You may have a normal EMG-NCS study, even though you have severe pain.
What are the different parts of the test?
- The study is usually done in two parts:
- NCS (i.e. “shocking” test) – which tests the nerve function
- EMG (i.e. “needle” exam) – which tests muscle function
How long is the test?
- Each EMG/NCS study varies from patient to patient, depending on what results are obtained. As such, the study may take as little as 20 minutes, or as much as 2 hours.
What is involved in the Nerve Conduction Study or NCS?
- The NCS examines the nerves in your arms and legs.
- This consists of attaching wires to the surface of your skin, and administering a small “shock” to see how well the nerves react and function. These result are monitored on a computer.
What is involved in the Electromyography or EMG?
- The EMG examines the muscle activity in your body. This study consists of inserting a sterile, individually wrapped, needle into your various muscles and monitoring their activity.
- These results are monitored on a computer. You will probably be stuck 5-7 times per arm or leg. There is NO shocking during the needle exam.
Is the test painful?
- The “shocks” during the NCS are not painful, although they may feel slightly uncomfortable. The needle “sticks” during the EMG feels like a small ant bite, and can sometimes be uncomfortable, but not painful.
How do I prepare for the test?
- Please DO NOT use any Lotion or Creams on the day of the test. Such Lotions or Creams will make it difficult to perform the study.
- Please notify the physician PRIOR to the study if:
- you think you may have AIDS or Hepatitis, or
- if you are taking any blood thinners, such as Coumadin or Aspirin
What type of clothes should I wear for the test?
- Please remove any watches or rings you might be wearing on BOTH your hands / fingers
- Men – if possible, wear shorts and T-shirt.
- Women – if possible, wear a loose dress and T-shirt.
When will I get the results of the test?
- If you are an active patient of our office, then the EMG-NCS results will be discussed with you on your next office visit.
- If you have come to our office only for the EMG-NCS, then the results will be sent to your referring physician within 48 hours.
- Your referring physician will discuss the results with you on your next office visit with them.
Will the doctor advise me of any treatment options?
- If Dr. Athni is actively involved in your care, then he will advise you of your different treatment options after reviewing the results on your follow up visit.
- But, if you have come to our office only for the EMG/NCS, then your referring physician will have to counsel you on your treatment plan.