EMG/Nerve Conduction Studies are done to help diagnose injuries or diseases that damage muscles, nerves, or the junctions between the nerve and muscle. This diagnostic test can help find the cause of pain, numbness/tingling, or weakness. EMG measures the electrical activity of muscles at rest and during contraction. Nerve conduction studies measure how well and how fast the nerves can send electrical signals.
To prepare for these tests, ask your referring physician for any special instructions. You should bathe before the test and DO NOT apply any body lotion. Take your regularly scheduled medications. Tell the doctor that is performing your test if you are taking a blood thinner (i.e. Coumadin), if you have a pacemaker, or if you have hemophilia.
There are very few risks or side effects from these tests. Each study is designed specifically for your symptoms so the length of the test can vary, but they are usually between 30-60 minutes. Watch this short video to learn more about what to expect.