Nerve Conduction Studies

Nerve Conduction Studies and Electromyography (EMG)

Nerve conduction studies and electromyography (EMG) are tests of nerve and muscle function which are requested in order to provide some clues as to the cause of your symptoms. Dr Taggart will carry out the investigations, interpret the results and write a report to the doctor who has referred you. The results may only be one part of a jigsaw and other tests may be needed in order to a reach a diagnosis.

The nature of the examination varies from patient to patient but usually takes between 30 and 45 minutes, although it can take longer.

Even if your symptoms are in one limb, a comparison of the findings in other limbs is often necessary.

The test is usually in two parts:

  1. The nerve conduction study involves recording small electrical signals from the skin overlying a muscle or nerve when a nerve is given a small electrical stimulus. The sensation associated with the stimulus is a little uncomfortable but causes no harm and is well tolerated by almost all patients, including small children.

  2. Electromyography (EMG) is the study of the electrical function of muscle. A fine needle records electrical activity directly from muscle and provides important additional information to the nerve conduction study. Again there is minor discomfort but no harm from the needle. The muscles examined may ache for a while after the examination.