For Patients

Electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies (NCS) help doctors assess the health of muscles and nerve cells. Nerves transmit electrical signals that cause muscles to contract. An EMG detects electrical signals by inserting a small needle into a muscle to record its electrical activity. A resting muscle produces no electrical activity, but a muscle contraction produces electrical activity that increases as the contraction increases. An EMG converts the electrical activity into graphs, sounds, and numerical values that Dr. Arnaudo interprets. An EMG can help the physician determine if muscle weakness results from a problem with a spinal nerve root,

peripheral nerve, muscle, or neuromuscular junction. Unlike electrocardiograms or electroencephalograms, which can be done routinely by technicians, an EMG requires the expertise of a physician trained and certified in EMG to perform the test.

Nerve conduction studies (NCS) measure the speed at which nerves conduct electrical impulses. Electrical impulses move along nerves to signal muscles to contract. A NCS uses electrodes placed on the skin to measure the speed and strength of signals traveling along nerves. A small electrical current stimulates an impulse along the nerve being tested. The impulse feels like an electric shock. Depending on how strong the stimulus is, you will feel it to varying degrees, and it may be a bit uncomfortable. By measuring the speed of nerve conduction, Dr. Arnaudo can determine if the symptoms result from a problem with a nerve or neuromuscular junction.

There are no significant risks with these tests and you will feel no pain once the test is finished. It is important that you avoid using any creams or lotions on the day of the test. It is best for you to shower and wear comfortable clothes. You may take your medications as usual including painkillers, if you normally take them. Dr. Arnaudo will explain every part of the test to you before conducting it. You will learn about your nerves and muscles and how they work together. Just relax and enjoy the adventure!

This video will show you how the tests are properly conducted.