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University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust

EMG (Electromyogram)

Following a nerve conduction study, an EMG may also need to be performed.  An EMG is a recording of the naturally occurring electrical activity of the muscles.

To carry out the EMG a very fine needle is inserted into the muscle to view and listen to the electrical activity.  You will be asked to move in a certain way to contract the muscle.  We may need to sample several muscles, depending on your symptoms.  The needle is disposable and does not deliver any electricity.  The needle is very fine so discomfort is kept to a minimum.


Please contact us before your appointment if you are taking anticoagulants such as warfarin, rivaroxaban, dabigatran, apixaban and clopidogrel.

In some cases the EMG cannot be carried out if you are taking these medications so please let us know on 0300 019 2396 prior to your appointment.

On the day of your appointment:

Avoid applying moisturising cream or lotion to your arms or legs, as this interferes with the test recording.

Keep jewellery to a minimum – avoid wearing any, if possible.

Wear loose clothing, so the clinician can access the tops of your arms and tops of your legs. You may need to remove some clothing for the tests to be performed.

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