Neurology Care for Berkshire Communities

What to expect when your doctor ordered NCS/EMG tests ?

The electrodiagnostic neurophysiologic testing NCS/EMG is a diagnostic examination of nerve and muscle function.Your doctor has arranged this test to assist in establishing a diagnosis and plan treatment.The NCS/EMG includes (1) nerve conduction studies (NCS) and (2) muscle testing (EMG).

The nerve conduction studies are performed by placing a disk on the skin over nerves and muscles and recording the responses to electrical stimulation of the nerves.The nerves are stimulated with mild electrical impulses that give an unusual and surprising sensation ( much like the sensation in the fingers experienced when you hit your elbow on a desk.)

The muscle testing involves direct recording of muscle activity at rest and during contraction by inserting small needles into various muscles. A pinprick sensation is experienced when the needle is inserted and sometimes a mild, dull ache is noted while the needle is in place. No electrical shocks are given. The needle picks up the electrical activity generated normally by the muscle.This electrical activity is displayed on a screen and over a loudspeaker so that the physician can see and hear it.

The EMG examination is safe,well tolerated, and involves only minor discomfort. It takes about 30-45 mins. to complete the study. However, it is not unusual for more time to be required.

Special instructions

At the time of your EMG appointment,your skin should be clean and without lotion,oils, or creams. No other special preparation is required.
You can take all your medications as prescribed by your doctor.

Please notify the doctor if you are taking a blood thinner ( warfarin or coumadin) , are on medication for myasthenia gravis (Mestinon) ,or have a pacemaker or stimulator.

There are no after effects and you may return to your usual activities upon leaving the EMG laboratory.