General Instructions for E.M.G. and Nerve Conduction Evaluation

ELECTROMYOGRAPHY (EMG): Approx. 90 minutes in duration

How to Prepare:
Please inform your referring physician's office as well as our the Neurodiagnostic Laboratory here at Saint Thomas West Hospital (615-222-4116) several days prior to your test date if you are taking aspirin, blood thinners (Coumadin, Warfarin, Dabigatran/Pradaxa), have a pacemaker, or have hemophilia.

Patient Hygiene Prior to Test:

  • Take a bath/shower to remove oils from your skin.
  • Do not use body lotion or oils of any kind the day of the test. These skin products could potentially affect the test results.
  • In cold weather, wear gloves, pants, and closed-toed shoes to keep your
    hands and feet warm prior to the test.

The Test:
An Electromyography (EMG) test usually consists of two parts:

Nerve Conduction Study (NCS):
The nerve conduction study of the EMG test shows how they body's electrical signals are traveling in the nerves. This is done by applying small electrical shocks to one point on the nerve and recording from another. These shocks cause a quick, mild tingling feeling, but go away quickly. The doctor or technologist may have to test several nerves.

Needle EMG (electromyography):
For the needle portion of the EMG a small, thin needle is inserted into the muscle. The electrical activity of the muscle is then recorded. You may be asked to contract the muscle to see how the contraction changes the activity. There may be a small amount of pain when the needle is inserted. The neurologist will only examine the muscles necessary to your diagnosis. A new needle is used for each patient and it is discarded following the test.

There are no specific discharge instructions for an EMG. You may resume your normal activities.


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Our Locations

UNITY - Nurse Navigator
(615) 222-STNI (7864)

Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital
2000 Church Street
Nashville, TN 37236
Phone: (615) 284-5555
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Saint Thomas West Hospital
4220 Harding Road
Nashville, TN 37205
Phone: (615) 222-2111
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Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital
1700 Medical Center Parkway
Murfreesboro, TN 37130
Phone: (615) 396-4100
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