General Instructions for E.M.G. and Nerve Conduction
ELECTROMYOGRAPHY (EMG): Approx. 90 minutes in
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
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.
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
There are no specific discharge instructions for an EMG. You may
resume your normal activities.