EMG and NCS
Clearwater, Tampa, St Petersburg, Florida
Why are Electromyography and Nerve Conduction Studies Used?
Electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies (NCS) are tests that measure muscle and nerve function. Since many pain-causing conditions effect muscle and nerve function, these tests are very helpful in determining what is causing a patient’s pain.
An EMG assesses muscle function. To do this, a fine needle is placed under the skin into the muscle being tested. The needle allows the electrical activity in the muscle to be measured.
During a NCS, mild electrical currents are applied to the skin on some parts of the body to see how quickly impulses travel between nerves.
How is an EMG or NCS Performed?
The tests are performed in a comfortable room in our office.Usually, both the EMG and NCS are done during the same visit, with the NCS conducted first.
To prepare for the test: Shower or bathe, but don’t use powder, oil or lotion. The skin should be clean and free of excess oil. Wear loose clothes. Be aware that you may be asked to change into a hospital gown. The entire test will take about 1 hour. Be sure to allow extra time to check in.
For your safety and for the success of the test, tell the person conducting the test if you:
- Have any bleeding problems
- Take blood thinners (anticoagulants) or other medications, including aspirin
- Have any immune system problems
- Have had neck or back surgery
- You may also be asked questions about your overall health.
For the Nerve Conduction Study (NCS):
Small electrodes will be attached to your skin on the area of you body being tested. A doctor or technologist will apply very mild electrical currents to you skin. Your muscles will twitch, but the test will not harm you. Currents may again be applied to the same area, or the test may continue on other parts of your body.Test results are recorded on a computer.
For the Electromyography (EMG):
Most of the NCS electrodes will be removed for the EMG test. The doctor will clean the area being tested with alcohol. An ultra-fine needle, similar to an acupuncture needle will be inserted into the muscles in the region. When the needle is inserted, you may feel as if your skin is being pinched. Test results are recorded on a computer.
After Your Test
Before you leave, all electrodes will be removed. You can then get right back to your normal routine.If you were told to stop taking any medications for you test, ask when you can start taking them again. Your doctor will let you know your test results are ready for review.
Potential Side Effects or Complications of an EMG or NCS Test
As with any procedure, there is the potential risk for side effects or complications.Fortunately, the most common side effect of an EMG is discomfort at the site where the fine needle is inserted.For the NCS study, the most common side effect is a skin reaction to the electrode adhesive.If you have any questions about the potential side effects of having an EMG or NCS test, we would be happy to discuss any concern you may have.
If you continue to suffer with chronic pain and would like to explore if an EMG or NCS is an appropriate diagnostic option, contact Dr. Lox for an appointment at 727-462-5582 . Since 1990, Dennis M. Lox, M.D has applied his personal interests in sports medicine, cutting-edge regenerative medicine and chronic pain management to helping patients increase their quality of life.
If Dennis M. Lox, MD, and the Florida Spine Center serve patients within the greater Tampa Bay area, including Clearwater, Tampa and St. Petersburg, as well as all of Florida and the US.
All statements, information or opinions provided by this website are provided for educational purposes only. We do not diagnose nor treat through this website or by telephone. As you consider any treatment, discuss them with your physician.