What we do

Find out more about some of the studies and investigations that we offer here.

Nerve conduction studies

We use nerve conduction studies to test 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.

FInd out more, including how to prepare for your study, in our nerve conduction studies patient information.

Electromyography

In addition to nerve conduction studies, your doctor might perform another test to record the electrical activity of your muscles.

Electromyography (EMG) involves inserting a small needle into the muscle, to view and listen to the electrical activity generated within the muscle. You might be asked to move in a certain way to contact the muscle being tested.

The test uses a small needle, so shouldn't be too uncomfortable. You might have some minor bruising, and feel a little sore for a short time after the test.

The activity we record can provide information not only about the muscle but also about the nerve that supplies it and the neuromuscular junction between the two. Depending on your symptoms and a doctor's examination, we might use EMG to test one muscle or several.

Please let us know if you're taking warfarin or might have a problem with bleeding or clotting, as there's a risk that the needle might cause problematic bleeding into the muscle.

Other investigations

You can download information about other investigations carried out by neurophysiology here: