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Electromyography (EMG) & Nerve Conduction Studies (NC)

An EMG records the electrical response of specific muscles. A nerve conduction study (NC) records how fast messages travel along the nerves in the arms and legs.

Both tests are usually done together with the NC being done first.

The test duration is approximately 1 hour.

Most children tolerate the procedure well, but some patients benefit from sedation to help them lay still, particularly during the EMG. See the instructions for sedation

  • The NC test is done first. Electrode stickers will be put on the wrist or ankle. Your child will feel a tingling sensation or tapping which will make the fingers or toes jump. This can feel strange, but doesn't usually hurt. 
  • If your doctor has requested an EMG, this will be done next.
  • The tip of a very small, thin needle will be placed into the muscle and the doctor will ask your child to move in a certain way. This part of the test does not take long, but there may be some minor discomfort from the needle insertion.
  • The technologist cannot give you the results of the test. The information will be analyzed and the report will be sent electronically to the referring doctor.


Sleep deprivation is not necessary for these tests.

Have your child wear loose-fitting clothing that can easily be pulled up over elbows and knees (a t-shirt and shorts/track pants work best).

Bring a comfort item if you feel it will help (stuffed toy, soother, blankie, etc).

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SOURCE: Electromyography (EMG) & Nerve Conduction Studies (NC) ( )
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