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Electromyography (EMG) evaluates the electrical activity your muscles produce. At Riverhills Neuroscience, the foremost doctor-owned neuroscience practice in the region, EMG and nerve conduction velocity (NCV) tests are provided by select doctors in an office in Crestview Hills, Kentucky, and three Cincinnati, Ohio, offices in Norwood, Anderson, and Westside. Call the office nearest you or request more information online today.


What is EMG?

Electromyography (EMG) is a test that uses needle electrodes to assess muscle response to nerve signals. It can check on the health of your muscles and motor neurons (the nerve cells that deliver signals to the muscles). 

You might need an EMG and a nerve conduction velocity (NCV) test which measures how fast nerve signals move along the nerve pathways if you’re having symptoms like muscle weakness, cramps, twitching, spasms, or other problems like tingling and numbness. 

What can an EMG diagnose?

EMG and NCV reveal how long it takes the muscles to get nerve signals and how fast the muscles react to those signals. The combined information can help diagnose conditions such as:

  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Sciatica
  • Cervical radiculopathy 
  • Herniated disc
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Muscle disorders such as muscular dystrophy
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome
  • Nerve damage in the shoulder
  • Multiple sclerosis

EMG and NCV can help diagnose other nerve and muscle problems too. 

Why do I need an NCV test along with my EMG?

Because the nerves and muscles work together, and symptoms of nerve and muscle disorders often overlap, it can be hard to determine whether you have a nerve or muscle disorder based on symptoms. 

So, one test without the other provides an incomplete picture, which would allow for some conditions to be missed. Combining EMG and NCV overcomes this problem by testing your nerves and muscles at the same time.

How do I prepare for an EMG?

Riverhills Neuroscience provides instructions before your EMG and NCV tests. You can generally go about your day as usual before the test, but make sure that you don’t wear lotion, cream, or oils. Wear (or bring) clothing that exposes your arms and legs since that’s often where they’ll apply the electrodes.

Does an EMG hurt?

EMG might cause minor discomfort, but most patients tolerate it well. The procedure doesn’t require pain medication, and most people experience only mild muscle soreness after their EMG and NCV procedure. 

Riverhills Neuroscience is known as the one-stop-shop for all neurology needs in the Greater Cincinnati area, and one reason that they’ve earned this reputation is their state-of-the-art equipment to perform procedures like EMG and NCV on-site in their four offices. Call the office nearest you or request more information online now.