California's Largest Provider of EMG/NCS Testing
With 30 offices in Southern California, Precision Medical Group, Inc is California's leader in providing high-quality, patient-centered electrodiagnostic testing, specializing in nerve conduction studies (NCS) and electromyography (EMG).
Our team is dedicated to serving our patients and the community with high standards of excellence in electrodiagnostic medicine.
Electromyography (EMG) and Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS): Testing your muscle and nerve function
What are these tests?
Electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies (NCS) are tests that measure muscle and nerve function. In most cases, both tests are performed. NCS is most often done first.
During NCS, mild electrical currents are applied to the skin on some parts of your body. This is done to see how quickly the impulse travels between nerves.
EMG assesses muscle function. To do this, a fine needle is placed under your skin into the muscle being tested. This is repeated on other muscles.
The needle allows the electrical activity in your muscles to be measured. No electrical currents are applied with the needle. EMG is a low risk procedure and complications are rare.
What to Expect
You may have one or both of the following:
Nerve Conduction Study( NCS)
Small electrodes will be attached to your skin on the area of your body being tested.
This will be done using water-based gel or paste. A doctor or technologist will apply mild electrical currents to your skin. Your muscles will twitch but the test won't harm you.
Currents may again be applied to the same area or the test may continue on other parts of your body.
Most of the electrodes will be removed for EMG. The doctor will clean the area being tested. A fine needle will be placed under your skin into the muscle being tested.
When the needle is inserted, you may feel as if your skin is being pinched. There is some discomfort when the needle is inserted but not so much that sedatives or anesthesia is needed.
Keeping calm with relaxed muscles during the test will help lessen any possible discomfort.
After Your EMG
You may experience some muscular soreness, but most people have no difficulty immediately returning to their regular daily activities including work. Your test results will be shared with you either after your test or by your referring doctor.
Before Your Test
Prepare for the test as instructed.
Be sure to:
- Shower or bathe, but don't use any cream, lotion, oil or powder. Your skin should be clean and free of excess oil.
- Wear loose clothing. Wear shorts if your legs (lower extremities) are being tested and wear a short-sleeved shirt if your arms (upper extremities) are being tested. Otherwise you may be asked to put on a gown.
- Take your routine medications unless otherwise instructed.
Let your Doctor Know
For your safety and for the success of your test, tell the doctor if you:
- Have any bleeding problems
- Take blood thinners (anticoagulants) or other medications
- May be pregnant
- Have any immune system problems
- Have had any neck or back surgery
- Have a pacemaker or defibrillator
You may also be asked questions about your overall health
Essentially EMG is used to help diagnose problems relating to nerves in the spine, arms or legs. These conditions usually cause pain, numbness, tingling or muscle weakness in part of the body. Examples of some of these conditions include:
- Muscle disorders such as muscular dystrophy or polymyositis
- Diseases affecting the connection between the nerve and the muscle such as myasthenia gravis.
- Disorders of nerves outside the spinal cord (peripheral nerves), such as carpal tunnel syndrome or peripheral neuropathies.
- Disorders that affect the motor neurons in the brain or spinal cord, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or a herniated disk in the spine.