Patient Resources

I’m Scheduled for an EMG/NCS. Now What?

As part of our Patient Advocacy Program, MedRisk is committed to informing injured workers on what they can expect when they’re scheduled for workers’ comp-related tests and procedures.

This post is designed to help patients prepare for an EMG (electromyography) test or NCS (nerve conduction study). It should not be considered medical advice; if you have specific questions, you should contact your physician or case manager.

What is it?

EMGs and NCS measure muscle and nerve response. They are often done during a single exam or visit. The EMG test uses one or more small needles inserted into the muscle to measure response. The NCS uses electrodes that issue small electric shocks to measure nerve response.

What to expect

Pre-exam questions

  • You’ll be asked some basic medical questions in advance of your exam.

What to wear

  • Wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing. You may be asked to put on a hospital gown, depending on the body part.
  • Avoid applying body lotion or powder prior to your EMG/NCS.
  • Leave your jewelry (rings, watches, earrings, etc.) at home. You’ll be asked to remove them for the exam.

About the exam

  • On average the exam takes 30-90 minutes, depending on response and body part.

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