Nerve Conduction Study (NCS)
With nerve damage, there may be pain, loss of sensation, muscle impairment and other problems. There are thousands of nerves throughout the body, so diagnosing nerve damage can be challenging. One diagnostic tool that is used to evaluate nerve damage and function is a nerve conduction study (NCS). It is often done in conjunction with an EMG. Our team at Medici Spine & Pain uses nerve conduction studies to help diagnose nerve disorders to help design an effective treatment plan for patients.
How a nerve responds to signals can reveal if there is damage and the extent of that damage. When evaluating nerve response, several factors are considered. The quickness of the muscle contraction is measured, and the location of sensation like tingling, pain or numbness is recorded. A nerve conduction study will determine if there is nerve damage and the location of the damage. It also helps to diagnose conditions, like carpal tunnel syndrome, that impact nerve response.
How an NCS is Performed
A nerve conduction study uses electrodes that are placed on the skin to stimulate the nerves that are under evaluation. One electrode is placed above the nerve to emit an electrical pulse. Another electrode is placed on the muscle that is controlled by the nerve. When electrical pulses are sent to the nerve, a tingling sensation is often felt. The conduction velocity is recorded, which is the time between the sent impulse and the muscle contraction. Typically, the nerves with suspected damage are tested along with “control” nerves to compare conduction velocity and other measurements.
Diagnostic testing is a critical aspect of finding the source of pain to create an effective treatment plan. We utilize nerve conduction studies, EMGs, injection treatments, advanced imaging and other diagnostic tools to help accurately diagnose chronic pain conditions. Our pain experts strive to treat the source of pain whenever possible, which begins with the diagnostic process.
If you suffer from nerve or other types of chronic pain, come see us at Medici Spine & Pain. We have two clinics that are located in the greater Atlanta area.