Nerve conduction studies (NCS) and Electromyography (EMG)
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Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS) is a test used to find out how the nerves in your arms and/or legs are working. Sticky electrodes are placed on your hands or feet, and a small electrical pulse stimulates the nerve. This pulse can make the muscles jump slightly and will cause an unusual tingling or pulsing sensation. This should not be painful but may cause mild discomfort.
Electromyography (EMG) may be performed after NCS, depending on the results. This is a test that records electrical activity that is naturally produced in your muscles. A fine needle is inserted into a muscle. Recordings are taken with the muscle relaxed and when the muscle is tensed. This takes a few minutes for each muscle.
A sharp scratch will be felt as the needle is inserted which may feel a little uncomfortable. The needle may cause a small amount of bleeding, there is a small chance of localised bruising and the muscles tested may feel sore for a short time after the examination.
Please avoid using moisturiser for 12 hours prior to the test. Wear loose fitting clothing to allow the limbs being tested to be accessed easily. Continue taking medication as normal, unless instructed otherwise by your doctor and bring along a list of current medication with you.
If you are taking blood thinning medication such as Warfarin, Apixaban (Eliquis),Rivaroxaban (Xarelto) or Dabigatran (Pradaxa), tell the doctor/physiologist before the test starts.
IF YOU ARE ON WARFARIN, YOU WILL NEED TO ARRANGE TO HAVE YOUR INR CHECKED 1-2 DAYS BEFORE THE TEST AND BRING THE RESULTS WITH YOU.
If you have a pacemaker/ implanted device or cardiac defibrillator fitted, please telephone the department to discuss before your appointment.
The Walton Centre - Main Hospital Building
This building hosts many of our in-patient services, including wards and theatres, and some outpatients services.
Lower Lane, Liverpool, L9 7LJ
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Neurophysiology is a consultant referral service only.
Page last updated: 23 June 2021