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How can EMG and NCV tests help you?

EMG and NCV tests

EMG/NCV Testing

When your muscles are weak or sore, or when you experience tingling, numbness or any other abnormal sensation there is a strong possibility that there is a problem with your muscles or nerves. If you want to get to the bottom of what’s causing the discomfort, a couple of highly effective tests will give you the answers you seek. 

Often performed at the same time, an Electromyography (EMG) test and a Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV) test are comprehensive and accurate tests that will help your physician assess whether you have muscular or nerve damage.

During electrodiagnostic testing, both EMG and NCV calculate the amount of electrical activity of your muscles and nerves. They are indispensable solutions required to get to the bottom of what causes nerve pain, neuropathy in hands,  neuropathy in legs, or several other specific neuropathy types like diabetic peripheral neuropathy and peripheral polyneuropathy, among a number of other debilitating conditions. 

What is an EMG test?

Electromyography is used to determine neuromuscular abnormalities. The diagnostic test assesses the health of muscles and the nerve cells that control these muscles.  These nerve cells send out electrical signals that are responsible for muscle contraction and relaxation. 

How does it help?

An EMG measures the muscles response or electrical activity that results from a nerve’s stimulation of the muscle. The test translates the electrical signals into numbers or graphs, which, in turn, helps your physician diagnose your condition.

Your doctor will order an electromyography test if you are showing signs of muscle or nerve disorder. In addition to helping your doctor determine the specific location of the injury, the test provides information about the degree to which the muscle and/or nerve damage has occurred. 

EMG testing is being used for a variety of medical conditions ranging from relatively simple like carpal tunnel syndrome to more complex conditions like ALS.

Duration of an EMG test

An electromyography test typically takes between 30 to 60 minutes. The length of the procedure hinges on the condition being tested and the results of the test. 

Is an EMG test painful?

An EMG nerve test might occur in two parts. While both might result in a small amount of discomfort, it is so negligible that most patients undergo the procedure without the need for any pain medication. 

Two elements of an EMG test are:

What is an NCV Test?

A nerve conduction velocity (NCV) test is used to detect nerve injury and dysfunction. Also referred to as a nerve conduction test, the procedure calculates the speed at which electrical signals travel through your peripheral nerves.

The peripheral nervous system is a network of motor and sensory nerves that connect the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. These nerves are situated outside your brain and run along your spinal cord. In addition to helping you exercise control over your muscles, they also help you experience the senses as well. While healthy nerves relay electrical signals quicker and with more velocity, damaged nerves don’t function to their optimum best.

How does it help?

By conducting an NCV test, your doctor will be able to determine if you are suffering from damage to the nerve fiber or trauma sustained to the myelin sheath, which is a sleeve of fatty tissue that protects your nerve cells. Plus, the test also enables your physician to differentiate between a nerve disorder and nerve injury that hampers the muscles.

An accurate diagnose of your condition is integral to a specific course of treatment, which is why it is vital that your doctor makes the above distinctions.

Conditions diagnosed

Electromyography and Nerve Conduction Tests are indispensable when it comes to diagnosing various conditions, including but not limited to:


EMG/ NCV tests enable physicians to diagnose the reason for muscle cramping, weakness in an extremity, spine-related issues that result in numbness and/or tingling sensation, and a host of other debilitating health conditions. 

Your doctor may order a comprehensive EMG test or just an NCV test if you experience any of the following symptoms, including:

At Chicago Neurological Services, our focus is rooted in providing our clients with only the best evidence based medical treatment. That is why we employ EMG and NCV tests as they are extremely safe, accurate, and reliable. 

Since these electrodiagnostic tests aid in the diagnosis of a plethora of conditions, in essence, they enable us to design highly customized and comprehensive treatment plans that put our clients on the road to recover. And with nerve pain relief, they benefit from overall better quality of life as well. 

So, if you are experiencing nerve pain of any kind or muscle fatigue or weakness, get in touch with us today. 

Gift yourself the ability to enjoy a pain-free life. You deserve nothing less.

Image of Dr. Lenny Cohen Dr. Lenny Cohen

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