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Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What is an EMG?
Answer: An EMG is an abbreviation for a neurologic testing procedure also known as and EMG/NCV. EMG is the abbreviation for electromyography and NCV is the abbreviation for nerve conduction velocity. This is a two-part test to determine if there are injured or damaged nerves in the arms, legs, neck or back.
Question: How long have neurologists been performing this testing?
Answer: EMG/NCV evaluations originated in the 1960s.
Question: What does this testing consist of?
Answer: This two-part test involves some tiny electrical shocks to the arms or legs, which measures the speed and potential blockage of nerve function and nerve signals. Most patients describe the small shock sensations as being similar to a tiny battery impulse or TENS unit. The electromyography involves thin teflon coated needles inserted into various muscles to determine if there is a pattern of nerve or muscle damage that accounts for the patient's symptoms. Patients often describe the EMG portion of the testing as similar to acupuncture.
Question: What preparation, if any, does the patient need prior to EMG/NCV testing?
Answer: It is recommended that patients bring a pair of shorts if the lower extremities are to be evaluated or a short sleeved top that the patient can wear if the upper extremities are being evaluated. This avoids the necessity for the patient dressing in a hospital gown. In addition, avoiding any skin lotions on the arms or legs on the day of testing is helpful.
Question: How long does a typical EMG study last?
Answer: Approximately 15 to 30 minutes.
Question: Are there any aftereffects that would prevent me from any other activities after my testing?
Answer: No
Question: How long does a new patient neurological evaluation last and what does it consist of?
Answer: An average neurological evaluation consists of face to face talking to the doctor about their symptoms and reviewing their medical history. Next is the neurological examination which entails evaluating vital signs, motor strength, coordination, sensation, reflexes, and watching the patient move and walk. A new patient evaluation typically lasts 45 to 60 minutes.
Question: Is there any paperwork that I will need to fill out prior to my testing or neurological evaluation?
Answer: Yes. Please arrive approximately 15 minutes prior to your appointment time. We need medical history and insurance information that will help us facilitate your care. In addition, please bring a list of your current medications, allergies and any previous medical information that you may have from previous physician's visits or testings that would help Dr. Lett diagnose and treat your condition.