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Nerve cells carry tiny electrical charges which signal the muscles to contract. Special machines can measure this electricity, including how fast the signal is ”conducted” along the nerve fibers and how well the muscles respond to the electrical stimulation.

What to Expect

The procedures are harmless. The physician or technician will ask you some questions about your medical history and present complaints. He/she will then ask you to lie down on an examination table or bed. You may be asked to remove some articles of clothing, depending on the area to be tested. In the testing room there will be one or more large machines with screens which the examiner will watch as your test proceeds; he will also be listening to the clicks or static-like sounds produced by the machine.

Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV)

This test measures how fast the nerve impulse travels along the nerve. Electrodes will be taped to your skin and you will feel tiny electrical shocks which maymake your arm or leg “jump.” These will be slightly uncomfortable, but are not usually painful, and theyare very brief. They have been compared to the “shock” you feel on a cold day when you walk across a carpet and touch a metal object.

With the Needle EMG Test we are studying how your muscles react to your commands. The doctor will cleanse your skin and insert a very fine, flexible needle directly into the affected muscles. The insertion of the needle is ordinarily not very painful, but may feel quite uncomfortable, depending upon the sensitivity of the area being tested. This part of the test is usually brief also.

Importance of Relaxation

The best advice your doctor can give you during these tests is to try to relax. Make yourself think of something else, breathe regularly and deeply, and let your muscles relax. If you are tense and your muscles are taut, the tests will take longer and be more difficult for both you and your examiner.

Report of Findings

The information obtained from the tests performed in the Electromagnetism Laboratory will be analyzed and sent to your doctor. He will explain to you the results as they apply in your particular case.

Other Questions

 If you have any further questions regarding the tests or other matters, make a note of them and someone will attempt to answer them during your visit. If you cannot keep the appointment arranged for you, please call the office between 8:30 and 4:30, Monday through Friday, to reschedule your tests.

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