Nerve Conduction Velocity and Electromyography Testing

If you are experiencing tingling, numbness or muscle weakness, NHRMC Physician Group - Neurology offers a diagnostic test that can give your doctor valuable information about your problem. 

A Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV)/Electromyography (EMG) test assesses the health of nerve cells and muscles that control movement by transmitting electrical signals from the nerves and muscles and recording where there is activity,or a lack of activity. This can pinpoint where there is weakness in muscle tissue or nerves.

Conditions Diagnosed

This test is often used to diagnose conditions such as:

  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Polymyositis
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Polio
  • Herniated disk

What to Expect

During a nerve conduction study, the technologist will tape electrodes to your skin. They then measure speed and strength between the two electrodes through a series of mild electrical impulses.

The EMG is another part of the test. Here, the physician will insert a tiny needle electrode into the muscle suspected of causing your problem. The physician will then ask you to contract and release the muscle several times to test the area. The electrode sends signals to contract the muscle and record the response, using a numerical value to show functionality.

NCV/EMG test results can reveal nerve dysfunction, muscle dysfunction, or problems with nerve-to-muscle signal transmission. While there is no recovery period following the test, some patients may have minor bruising where the needles were inserted.