What is EMG/NCS?
Electromyography (EMG) has several components. The most frequently encountered tests are:
Needle EMG, nerve conduction studies
Needle EMG involves testing selected muscles to help establish any abnormality present. A very small (thin) needle is inserted into each muscle selected. The needle is connected to a computer, which provides information for the doctor conducting the test to interpret.
A few patients occasionally experience some discomfort when the needle is inserted. However, most patients tolerate the procedure very well. One disposable sterile needle is used for the test. Generally, each patient requires only one or two parts of the test.
Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS)
During nerve conduction studies, your EMG doctor will test different nerves to determine if they are conducting the body’s electrical activities normally. You will be connected to a computer (EMG machine) and the nerve being tested will receive very small electric shocks.
The electric shocks received are not harmful. Patients may feel some mild tingling or shock. Occasionally few patients experience some discomfort when the shocks are applied. However, most patients tolerate the procedure very well.
Evoke potentials test the nerves that pass through the spinal cord. You will also be connected to an EMG machine and have very small shocks applied to the nerves being tested, being stimulated by light or sound. The responses generated are recorded from the scalp/skin and transferred to a computer where it can be analyzed and interpreted by your EMG doctor.