What Is An EMG Study?

An electrodiagnostic study, also known as an EMG test, is a test that evaluates the function of nerves and muscles of the body. An EMG study is frequently performed to evaluate neurological and neuromuscular conditions such as sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, and peripheral neuropathy. In general, there are two parts to an EMG study. The first part is called the nerve conduction study (NCS) and involves recording the nerve function of specific nerves in the arms and/or legs after they are stimulated with a small, electrical impulse. The second part is called electromyography (EMG) and examines selected muscles to determine nerve or muscle related problems. There can be some temporary discomfort with the test, but this can be easily controlled by the doctor performing the exam. Some people experience muscle tenderness for a day or two after the test, and some have minimal bleeding from the EMG needle sites.

What Do I Need To Prepare Prior To The EMG Study?

Few preparations are needed for your EMG, but please note the follow recommendations:

  • Please Do Not Apply Lotions To Your Skin On The Day Of The Exam, As It Can Interfere With The Test.
  • It Is Best To Wear Loose Fitting Clothing So The Doctor Can Evaluate Your Arms And Legs Easily.
  • You Do Not Need To Fast.
  • You Do Not Have To Hold Any Medications Prior To Your EMG Test.
  • There Are No Activity Restrictions Before Or After The Test.