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Nerve conduction studies

What are nerve conduction studies?

A test that records the function of a nerve pathway using small electrical pulses.Nerve study

What is electromyography (EMG)? 

A test to check how your muscles are working. This involves having a small needle placed into the muscle to record the responses.

What should I do before the test?

Please wear comfortable loose fitting clothes.

Make sure your hands and feet are warm by wearing socks or gloves if needed.

Do not apply creams or lotions to your skin as they may make the tests difficult.

Bracelets, rings (with the exception of a wedding ring) and watches will have to be removed for the test.

Take your medication as usual unless directed by your doctor.

Eat as normal.

Bring a list of your medication with you.

Please be aware this is an outpatient department with no nursing cover. If you have specific mobility difficulties or need personal care support please attend your appointment with someone who can assist you with these.

 What will happen during the test?

  • A healthcare scientist or doctor will explain the procedure to you and answer any questions you may have. They will need to take a clinical history from you.
  • Your height will be measured
  • Pads or rings will be placed on your skin
  • You will feel a pulsing or tapping sensation from these pads or rings.
  • The speed and size of the nerve impulse is measured.
  • If you need EMG a fine needle is inserted into the muscle and you will be asked to make the muscle move (for example bending your arm)
  • The doctor is able to look and listen to the responses from the needle.
  • The whole test should take under 60 minutes, this may vary depending on relaxation and cooperation.

Nerve study 2

How will I get my results?

The results will be analysed by a consultant neurophysiologist and sent back to the doctor who requested the test. This should happen within 10 working days.

Are there any risks?

If you have a pacemaker or cardiac defibrillator fitted or are taking any blood thinning medication such as warfarin please telephone the department before your appointment to discuss.

If you have EMG-As with all needles you may get a small bruise and the muscle may feel slightly sore a while after the test.

Contact details

To change your appointment or if you have any questions please contact the neurophysiology department on 0117 3428254

Please allow plenty of time to get to your appointment. Parking is particularly difficult. If you are more than 15 minutes late we may not be able to perform the test. If you are unable to attend your appointment please inform the department as soon as possible by calling the number above.