PT Solutions provides EMG/NCS services independently and on a contractual basis for physician groups and hospitals. The services are often provided on-site. We make every effort to simplify the scheduling process and feel that prompt access is simply part of a quality product. We blend with the other healthcare professionals to create a seamless continuum of care for the patient.
What is EMG?
Actually the acronym is ENMG and stands for ElectroNeuroMyoGraphy. Basically this translates to a electrical recording of the nerves and muscles. This is a testing procedure to evaluate the health of the nerves and nerve/muscle interaction in the body.
This Test Consists of Two Parts:
1. The EMG (Electromygraphy) is a recording of nerve, muscle and the interaction of the nerve and muscle. This portion of the test is performed using a small needle electrode inserted into the muscle. The needle is a fine pin that most people tolerate without any difficulty at all.
2. The NCS (Nerve Conduction Study) is performed by electrically stimulating the nerve and recording the response using a surface electrode. The recorded response is obtained from either the nerve or the muscle to which the nerve is attached. The purpose is to evaluate the integrity of the nervous system and the interaction of the nerve with the muscle. The electrical stimulus is more of a surprise than painful. Like the EMG, most patients tolerate this test without difficulty as well.
The testing can be compared to an engineer checking a sophisticated robot for an electrical short.
Assuming the wiring begins at the spine of the machine and then winds its way to the arms and legs, the engineer would apply an electric current to the various wires and record the responses. If any of the wires were frayed or broken, the normal response would be altered. As the various wires work their way into arms and legs, they would spread apart into smaller and smaller wires until they reach their destinations.
In much the same way as the example above, the nerves of the body work their way into the skin and muscles. This test helps to find the area of breakdown, whether it be a single nerve, or an entire group of nerves.
What to Expect…
The Physical Therapist will need access to the arms and/or legs and sometimes the neck and back. Electrodes will be placed at different point on the body corresponding to the various nerves and muscles being tested. The following guidelines are helpful:
- Wear loose clothing
- No lotions, perfumes or make-up (these products can interfere with the electrode conduction)
- Plan on 1 hour for the test
One can expect some soreness for a day or two following the test. Some patients may find a bruise following the test.
The test alone is not necessarily conclusive. The physician may order other tests as well. The physician will then assess all the data and apply his/her clinical expertise to draw a conclusion.