trading as  Calder Hall Medical Centre


Nerve Conduction Studies NCS - Electromyography (EMG)

This service moved to Crownpoint Medserv Cenre- Please consult their website at

EMG (Electromyography) usually refers to both Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS) and EMG. Depending on the problem being investigated, you may require one or both of the procedures described below. NCS are used to test the functioning of the peripheral nerves in your hands, arms and/or legs. EMG testing is used to test the electrical activity within the muscles to help determine if weakness is caused by nerve damage or muscle disease. These tests are used to investigate a number of different muscle and nerve problems and will assist your Consultant in the diagnosis and management of your medical complaints or condition.

To make an appointment, please call our Reception Desk  (868) 660 7873 or  (868) 639 8516

1. Why have an NCS/EMG test?

NCS are done to:

  • Detect and evaluate damage to the periheral nervous system

  • Identify the location of abnormal sensations, such as numbness, tingling or pain

EMG is done to:

  • Diagnose diseases that damagemuscle tissue, nerves, or the junctions between nerve and muscle (neuromuscular junctions).

  • Evaluate the cause of weakness, paralysis, involuntary muscle twitching, or other symptoms.

  • Measuring the electrical activity in nerves and muscles can help detect the presence, location, and extent of diseases that can damage nerves or muscle tissue. In case of nerve injury, the actual site of nerve damage can often be located. NCS and EMG are usually done together to provide more complete information

2. What should I do before the NC/EMG test?

  • Take a bath or shower to remove oil from your skin on the morning of the test. Do not apply any skin lotions/moisturisers/creams on the day pf the test. Wear loose fitting clothes thwt enable you to roll the sleeves up to the  armpit or trousers above the knee.

  • Eat normally on the day of your test.

  • Take all your usual medications as normal. Bring a list of your medications with you. Inform your doctor if you have a pacemaker or any other cardiac devices; or if you are taking warfarin, heparin or another tablet to thin your blood.

  • Remove all bracelets, wristwatches and rings (if possible) before the test.

3. What happens during EEG tests?

Before performing the NCS/EMG you will be explained ech aspect of the test and answered any questions you may have. The tests are being done while lying on a bed or sitting in a reclining chair.


A number of sticky electrodes are placed on your hands or feet whih can   be easily removed afterwards. To test the nerve, a small electrical pulse is given to the skin and your reactions are recorded. This is repeated at 2 or 3 points along the arm or leg. The electrical stimulation can be a little unpleasant, but should not cause too much discomfort. The corresponding nerves on the other side of the body may be studied for comparison. Depending on NCS results you may also have EMG.



The skin over the areas to be tested is cleaned with an antiseptic solution. A fine sterile electrode (like an acupuncture needle) is inserted into the specific muscle to be tested. The electrical activity in that muscle is recorded while the muscle is at rest, when contracting gently and when contracting forcefully. The needle may be repositioned a number of times to tecord the electrical activity in different areas of the muscle or in different muscles. When the testing is completed, the needle is removed and those areas of  the skin where the needle was inserted are cleaned. This tskes a few minutes for each muscle. The procedure may sound worse than it actually is and causes only minor discomfort.

Depending on the complexity of the problem, the study may take anywhere from 20 - 60 minutes or more.

4. What happens after the NCS/EMG test?

  • When the investigation is finished, the electrodes are removed without any pain.

  • You will then be able to go home or back to work and continue with your normal activity.

  • NCS do not have any side effects. After EMG the muscles into which the needle has been placed may ache a little for a few minuts. There may be the occasional small bruise.

  • The results are not available immediately, The report is sent to you by email within 3 working days or you can collect it from the office.


5. How will the results of these tests assist my consultant?

  • An NCS/EMG will help your consultant in the diagnosis and management of your complaints or condition.

  • You have to discuss the report/findings with your consultant.

6. What are the consequences of not having NCS/EMG?

  • NCS/EMG is a well established method of helping doctors to diagnose and treat a range of medical conditions

  • Your doctor would not have as complete a picture as they require and hence your diagnosis may take longer and/or your treatmentmay not be the most appropriate.

7. Are there any alternative ways of getting the same information that an NCS?EMG provides?

  • No. However, there are many areas of research tking place and in the future different methods may be available.













© 2016 Specialist Clinics of Tobago Ltd.- All rights reserved -- Last updated: November 28, 2017