Nerve conduction studies

We use nerve conduction studies to assess the electrical conduction of impulses travelling along your nerves. To measure this, a special recording electrode is placed onto your skin (usually on your hand, arm or leg) and then another electrode is used to stimulate the skin. The stimulator produces small electrical pulses which feel like a sharp tapping sensation. We repeat the process for a number of different nerves. There are no side effects, although you might find it uncomfortable. We usually use this method to examine nerves in your arms or legs.

If the nerve is trapped, damaged or diseased then the signals will be altered.

Please let us know if you have a cardiac pacemaker or an implanted cardiac defibrillator

An appointment will usually last between 30 minutes and an hour, depending on your problem and the extent of testing needed.

Preparing for a nerve conduction study

Please keep your hands and feet warm, as cold limbs can affect the results.

You should also avoid using any moisturisers, creams or lotions on your arms and legs on the day of the tests, as this can interfere with the recordings.

Please wear loose clothing and minimal jewellery, which may need to be removed.