What is a Nerve Conduction Study?

A nerve conduction study (NCS) is a test that measures the electrical activity of nerves and muscles. Electromyography (EMG) testing involves small pins that are placed under the skin to measure nerve and muscle activity and is typically combined with NCS testing. In some medical conditions the electrical activity of the muscles or nerves is not normal. Finding and describing these electrical properties in the muscle or nerve may help your doctor diagnose your condition. This may include nerve compression or injury such as carpal tunnel syndrome, nerve root injury such as sciatica, or such conditions as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, and muscular dystrophy.

During nerve conduction studies, small electrodes are taped to the skin or placed around fingers. You typically experience a brief and mild shock, which may be a bit unpleasant but considered by most people to be only slightly annoying. Small pins or needles are inserted into muscles to measure electrical activity during the electromyography portion of the testing. The needles are different from those used for injections – they are small and solid, not hollow like hypodermic needles. Because no medication is injected, discomfort is much less than with shots.

You will be asked to contract your muscles by moving a small amount during the test. The test takes 30-60 minutes and you will not have any restriction of activities once you leave the doctor’s office. If you have any questions regarding your upcoming nerve conduction study, call our office at 321-725-4500 ext. 7266.

 

 

 

 

*Source: eMedicine Health; Consumer Health, Web MD (2008)

 

 

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