EMG stands for Electromyography and NCS stands for Nerve Conduction Studies.
The test has two parts:
- An EMG (Electromyogram) measures the electrical activity of muscles at rest and during contraction. Nerves control the muscles in the body by electrical signals (impulses), and these impulses cause the muscles to react in specific ways. Nerve and muscle disorders cause the muscles to react in abnormal ways. During an Electromyography study, a very small pin is inserted in the muscle that helps us evaluate the condition of your muscles.
- NCS (Nerve Conduction Studies) are used to measure the health of your nerves. Mild electrical stimulation is administered to the skin directly overlaying the nerve. The response is measured by a second set of electrodes applied to the surface of the skin. This impulse produces a visual signal on a computer monitor, and when analyzed, it can provide information about the condition of the nerve.
Measuring the electrical activity in muscles and nerves can help find diseases that damage muscle tissue (such as myopathy and muscular dystrophy) or nerves (such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or peripheral neuropathies). EMG and Nerve Conduction Studies are done together to provide us with more complete data.
The results of EMG/NCS testing can be an invaluable tool for your doctor to determine various conditions that can affect your nerves and muscles, which will help them manage your care more effectively.
EMG/NCS are easy, reliable and safe tests
Our team of highly trained professionals, always in the closest cooperation and communication with the patient and ordering physician, is here to provide you with a pleasant and comfortable experience, and to obtain the most valuable information needed for your doctor.
Proper testing can assist in correct diagnosis that leads to the appropriate physical therapy treatment. EMG/NCS testing can be part of your health solution!
Frequently Asked Questions
- WHAT DO I NEED TO DO BEFORE I ENTER THE EXAM ROOM?
If you have accidentally used any type of lotion or cream on your hands or feet, PLEASE wash BOTH your hands and feet with soap and water in the office restroom, BEFORE entering the exam room.
- CAN I WEAR LOTION ON MY ARMS AND/OR LEGS ON THE DAY OF THE STUDY?
Please DO NOT use any Lotion or Cream on the day of the test. Such Lotions or Creams will make it difficult to perform the study.
- WHAT TYPE OF CLOTHING SHOULD I WEAR?
If possible, wear shorts and T-shirt.
Please remove any watches or rings you might be wearing on BOTH your hands/fingers.
- DO I HAVE TO TELL THE THERAPIST ABOUT ANY SPECIFIC MEDICAL CONDITIONS?
Yes, Please, notify the therapist prior to the study if:
1) you think you may have AIDS or hepatitis, or
2) if you are taking any blood thinners, such as Coumadin or Aspirin
- IS THE EMG OR NCS PAINFUL?
Normally the test is not painful. You might feel slight skin discomfort but not any major pain.
- WHAT IS ELECTROMYOGRAPHY OR EMG?
The EMG examines the muscle activity in your body. This study consists of inserting a small pin in to the muscles and monitoring their activity. These results are monitored on a computer.
- WHAT IS THE NERVE CONDUCTION STUDY OR NCS?
The NCS involves examining the nerves in your arms or legs. This consists of placing sticky pads on the surface of the skin and administering a small electrical impulse vibration to see how well the nerves react and function. These results are monitored on a computer.
- HOW LONG IS THE STUDY?
Each EMG/NCS study varies from patient to patient, depending on what results are obtained. As such, the study may take as little as 45 minutes, or as much as an hour to two hours.
- WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE STUDY?
The study is usually done in two parts: (1) Nerve Conduction Study – NCS, and (2) Electromyography – EMG
The word Electromyography can be broken down to its origin. Electro is electricity, myo is muscle, and graph is picture, all originate from the Greek language.
- WHAT DOES THE EMG/NCS TEST DO?
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.