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EMG/NCS Testing

Electrodiagnostic medicine consists of electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies (NCS). EMG/NCS testing should only be performed by physicians who have undergone special training. This expertise will assist physicians in establishing diagnoses, determining prognoses, and assisting in proper management.

NCS tests how well signals travel along a nerve and can help find the cause of abnormal nerve function, such as numbness, tingling or pain.

EMG assesses the electrical activity of muscle and can help determine if there are abnormalities in the muscle or the nerve going to it.

What you should know:

  • Avoid skin lotions on the day of the test. Try to wear or bring comfortable clothing. Sometimes a short-sleeved shirt (if studying the arms) or shorts (if studying the legs) are adequate. At other times, you may be asked to change into a gown.
  • The testing usually takes 45-60 minutes. You should also take your regularly prescribed medications, including those for pain. There are no restrictions on activity before or after the testing and there are no lasting after-effects.
  • When the testing is completed, the physician will analyze the results. A formal report will then be generated and sent to your referring physician in a few days. Your referring physician will then use the test results to help decide on proper management.

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