An electromyogram (EMG) measures the electrical activity of your muscles when you are not using them (at rest) and when you tighten them (muscle contraction).
Nerve conduction studies (NCS) measure how well and how fast the nerves can send electrical signals.
EMG and nerve conduction studies are often done together. If they are done together, the nerve conduction studies are done before the EMG.
You may need an EMG to find diseases that damage your muscles or nerves or to find why you cannot move your muscles (paralysis), why they feel weak, or why they twitch.
You may need nerve conduction studies to find damage to the nerves that lead from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body (peripheral nervous system). Nerve conduction studies are often used to help find nerve disorders, such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
You lie on a table or bed or sit in a reclining chair so your muscles are relaxed.
For an EMG:
For nerve conduction studies:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to keep a list of the medicines you take. Ask your doctor when you can expect to have your test results.
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Current as of: October 9, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Karin M. Lindholm, DO - Neurology
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