Physicians order EMG and NCV tests to determine if there is any damage to the nerves that could account for your symptoms. For example, these tests are commonly ordered to look for injury from nerve compression in the neck, lower back or at the wrist (carpal tunnel syndrome).

EMG – Electromyography

A fine needle electrode is inserted into the muscle tissue and electrical activity is studied. If a nerve to a muscle is damaged, the muscle shows abnormal electrical activity. There are also a few muscle diseases which can be detected by this test. There may be some discomfort or pain when the needle is inserted, and soreness or bruising when the needle is removed.

NCV – Nerve Conduction Velocity

Small metal electrodes are taped to the skin and the nerves are stimulated by a small electric impulse. Nerve signal speeds are measured. The stimulation lasts a very short time, approximately 1/1000 of a second, and is not harmful. It may feel slightly stronger than the electric static shock received from touching a doorknob after walking across carpet.

Test Preparation

Please have skin free of dirt and oils. Do not use body lotion or powder on the day of the test. Expect the procedure to take 30 to 60 minutes.

Before your appointment, please notify your doctor if you are

  • taking medications
  • using blood thinners
  • have a pacemaker

Coordinated Care

We provide expert diagnostics and coordinated care within our practice of neurologists, neurosurgeons, interventional pain management specialists, rehabilitation and physical medicine specialists, and other related neuroscience physicians.


For EMG/NVC testing, call:

(513) 612-1111

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