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Electromyography (EMG) & Nerve Conduction Velocity Tests (NCV)

What are EMG and NCV?

These tests are often used in combination to detect neuromuscular disorders (or nerve and muscle problems).  EMG measures the electrical activity of the muscles.  NCV measures the speed and intensity of electrical signals traveling along the nerves and the time it takes to respond to these signals.

What do these tests show?

EMG and NCV are important diagnostic tools that help determine the cause of muscle weakness, spasms, paralysis, or pain in the arms, hands, legs, or face.  They also help determine if the disease involves the spinal cord, nerves, muscles, or nerve muscle junctions.

Who performs the testing?

A qualified neurologist performs the testing and interprets the results.  A technologist may assist the neurologist.

What happens during EMG/NCV testing?

Your position during the test will depend upon the area of the body to be tested.  For the NCV, two electrodes will be placed in a specific location.  They will pick up the electrical signal as it travels along the nerve in that area.  A stimulating electrode sends a tiny electrical charge along the nerve.  You may feel a tingle or your muscle may twitch.  From the EMG, a tiny needle is inserted into the muscle to record the electrical activity of the muscle.

When will the results of my EP testing be available?

The results are typically available within three to five days.  These results will be sent to your personal physician, who will make a diagnosis based upon the neurologist?s interpretation.


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