If you experience numbness, tingling, or chronic pain, it’s likely that your nerve conduction is to blame. Diseases, disorders, and conditions that affect the nerves are often misdiagnosed or misinterpreted as musculoskeletal problems, and a nerve conduction study can help identify whether or not your symptoms are neural and help your doctor identify the best course of treatment.
What Is a Nerve Conduction Study?
Physical sensations like pain are caused by the firing of your neural network, which is a system of connected nerves and neurons in the body and brain that transmits signals to essentially tell you what you’re feeling. When you put your hand on a hot stove, your neurons send electrical impulses up your arm and to your brain that let you know it’s hot, and you should move your hand!
A nerve conduction study (NCS) is a way of measuring the speed at which your nerves and neurons fire and send these signals. During the study, a nerve is stimulated by an electrical pulse from an electrode, and the time it takes for the electrical impulse to travel from one nerve to another is measured by our practitioners. If the nerve has been damaged, the electrical impulse won’t travel as quickly or directly, helping the physicians identify possible areas of neural damage.
Nerve conduction studies can be used to help physicians evaluate many conditions, including Guillain-Barré Syndrome, carpal tunnel, myopathy, Lambert-Eaton syndrome, herniated disks, sciatic nerve issues, or any kind of neural-related pain, tingling, or numbness.
Erin Aas - ARNP
Though you will feel the electrical impulse, it isn’t like being shocked by an appliance or electric fence. The pulses are very mild and highly controlled, and though you might experience slight discomfort, you will feel no pain after the test is complete and very little discomfort during the study. Of course, we’re more than happy to discuss any concerns you might have regarding the procedure!