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What is a Nerve Conduction Study?
A Nerve Conduction Study, or NCS, is a commonly performed test that provides information about diseases and injuries to nerves and muscles. It involves having small electrical impulses applied to the skin over the nerves. These pulses will cause the muscles to contract. This is mildly uncomfortable but not usually a painful sensation. The information is then analyzed by a computer.
What is Electromyography?
Electromyography, or EMG, measures the function of the muscles and the electrical connections between the nerves and the muscles. This involves putting a small needle into the muscles being tested. You may be asked to contract these muscles. The needle is approximately the same size as an acupuncture needle. The needles are single use (disposable needles) and there is no risk of transmission of blood borne diseases between patients.
How do I Prepare for These Tests?
There are no specific requirements. You should take your medications as usual.
Because the electrodes and needles need to be applied directly to the skin, you should wear comfortable clothing that allows access to the nerves in the area of the body being tested. If required, you may be asked to change into a hospital gown.
Please do not apply moisturizer or makeup to area of the body to be tested. The duration of the test can vary depending on the complexity of the procedures performed. The tests take about an hour to perform.
The results will be forwarded to your Doctor within a few days.
Do I Need to Bring Anything Along for the Tests?
…your insurance cards.
…a list of all the medications you are taking.
…X-rays, MRIs or other reports. If do not have them, please do not be concerned. We will acquire them, if necessary.
Are There Any Risks?
The tests are simple and side effects are extremely rare. The testing is performed according to the standard protocols that are in world-wide use and are designed to minimize any side-effects.
Are There Any Restrictions After the Tests?
No. There may be some minor bruising from the EMG needle. The tests do not usually cause any ongoing pain or other symptoms. No restriction of exercise or activity is necessary following the tests.
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