Electromyography and nerve conduction studies are tests to measure muscle and nerve function. Usually, both tests are performed with the nerve conduction study being done first.
During the nerve conduction study, mild electrical currents are applied to your skin to test how fast impulses move along your nerves. Small metal disks (electrodes) are attached to your skin using a water-based gel or paste. Your muscles may twitch, but the test won’t harm you. This may be done more than once in the same area, or may continue on other parts of your body.
The electromyography study measures the electrical activity in your muscles by placing a fine needle under your skin into each muscle being tested. No electrical currents are applied with the needle. When the needle is inserted, you may feel as if your skin is being pinched. Try to relax and follow the doctor’s instructions.
During each test, wavy lines called waveforms will be produced to show how well your nerves and muscles work. These will determine your test results. You will be given a follow-up appointment to discuss your results.
After your test, you can get right back to your normal routine. You may feel tired or have some discomfort for a short period of time that will resolve with rest.