What to Know About NCV and EMG Tests


The NCV and EMG tests are types of electrodiagnostic tests that measure the electrical activity of your muscles and nerves. Let discuss both in detail.


An EMG measures the responses of your muscles to nerve stimulation, the Spine Universe explains. It also measures the electrical activity in some muscle fibers. During the procedure, a needle electrode is inserted into a specific muscle. Relaxing and contracting the muscle results in electrical impulses recorded on an oscilloscope.

Nerve conduction velocity

This tests the speed that the electrical impulse travels along your nerve. Your doctor will attach patch-like electrodes to your skin. Electricity is then sent through the electrodes. The current can range from mild to medium.


These tests are vital to getting an accurate diagnosis. Both procedures help your doctor rule out certain muscle disorders and to differentiate whether you are suffering from muscle or nerve damage.

Tell your doctor

Before you take NCV and EMG tests, make sure you tell your doctor if you are taking any medicines. Some medication may affect your nervous system. This can compromise your electromyogram results too.  Also, let your doctor know if you have any bleeding problems or disorders. If you’re taking blood thinners, that’s going to compromise test results as well. Your doctor will likely tell you to stop taking the medication before the test. If you have a pacemaker, let your doctor know.


Make sure you prepare for the test. If you smoke, refrain from doing so three hours before the test. Don’t drink or eat anything that contains caffeine in it, even in small amounts. And if you want to be comfortable during the exam, avoid tight-fitting clothes. Go for loose-fitting clothing.

To know more about what’s going to happen, talk to your doctor. Ask questions before you go ahead with the procedure.

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