What is Electrodiagnostic Medicine?

This is the study of diseases of nerves and muscles. The tests will check to see if your muscles and nerves are working properly. The results of the tests will help your doctor decide what is wrong and how it may be treated.

What tests will may be required?

Depending on your personal circumstances, you may require tests to be completed prior to your appointment with the doctor.  Tests may include blood tests, scans or MRI.  It is important that time is allowed for the results to be forwarded to the doctor for review before your appointment. 

What is a Nerve Conduction Study (NCS)?

This test shows how well the body’s electrical signals are travelling to a nerve. This is done by applying small electrical shocks to the nerve and recording how it works. The shocks will cause a quick, mild, tingling feeling. This may be slightly uncomfortable. It is safe and has no lasting side effects. The doctor may test several nerves.

What is a Needle EMG?

For this part of the test a small thin needle is put into several muscles to see if there are any problems.  A new needle is used for each patient and is disposed of after the test. There may be a small amount of pain when the needle is put in.  Mild bruising of the skin and muscle may occur.  The doctor tests only the muscles necessary to decide what is wrong.  During the EMG test the doctor can see and hear how your muscles and nerves are working by the way electrical signals travel from the needle to the EMG machine.  The doctor then uses his medical knowledge to identify what could be causing your problem.

Why am I being sent for tests?

You have experienced numbness, tingling, pain, weakness or muscle cramping.

How long will the tests take?

Usually 15 – 45 minutes. There are no lasting side effects. You can do your normal activities before and after the tests.

How should I prepare for the tests?

  • Take a bath or shower to remove oil from your skin. Do not use body lotion or creams on the day of the test
  • Wear loose fitting clothing if possible. Jewellery worn on hands and arms will  need to be removed for the test
  • Cold hands and feet will interfere with the test so try to keep as warm as possible.

When will I know test results?

Dr Crump will briefly discuss your tests results on the day. However, full discussion of the results will require an appointment with the doctor who referred you.

Do I have to bring any test results with me?

Please ensure you bring all test results including films/CDs (e.g. for MRI) with you to your appointment. This information is vital to Dr Crump’s assessment. If you have had tests done but do not have the results, please contact us to help you locate them.