What is EMG/NCV?

Electromyography/Nerve Conduction Velocity is used to test the nerves and muscles in your entire lower extremity. Your doctor will order this test when he suspects that there may be some type of problem with the nerve supply to your foot and leg. Commonly the EMG/NCV test is used to diagnosis one of the following: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Peripheral Neuropathy (leg pain), Neuromuscular disorders, Nerve palsy or Paralysis, and Radiculopathy (back pain/neck pain). The EMG portion of the test is used to record the electrical activity in your muscles. It can diagnose diseases of the nerves and muscles and can detect conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, inflamed muscles and pinched nerves.

How is the test performed?

During this test, your doctor will use a small needle electrode (similar to an acupuncture pin) to test the muscles surrounding your affected nerve segments, both at rest and with contraction, to determine the underlying cause of your pain or discomfort. Total testing time may range from just a few minutes to more than an hour, depending upon how many muscles are tested.

How do I prepare for this test?

Eat normally and take medication as you usually would. If you are taking a blood thinner, make sure you inform your physician or nurse and ask about the use of the medication and the timing of the test. Bathe or shower the morning of the exam, but do avoid bath oils or any skin lotions or emollients.


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