NCS, Nerve Conduction Studies

Nerve Conduction Testing is a similar diagnostic test to Electromyography (EMG), although there are a few key differences. Nerve Conduction Testing uses surface electrodes, as opposed to needle electrodes, and therefore is a less invasive procedure. Surface electrodes are stickers that are placed to the skin’s surface on top of the affected area.

With these electrodes, we can help measure the speed and strength of the messages being sent between your muscles and nerves, in order to determine the issue and the best course of treatment for your needs.

At Orchard Park Progressive Physical Therapy, our Orchard Park physical therapy practice is highly skilled and experienced in the methods of Nerve Conduction Testing. To find out more about Nerve Conduction Testing and how it may benefit you, contact Orchard Park Progressive Physical Therapy today.

Why is Nerve Conduction Testing Done?

A Nerve Conduction Test is used as a way to diagnose any damage or dysfunction in the nerves. It measures how quickly electrical signals are able to move through your peripheral nerves, which are located located along your spinal cord and outside of your brain. When nerves are healthy, signals are strong and fast. When nerves are unhealthy, signals are weak and slow.

There are a vast number of muscular and neuromuscular disorders that a Nerve Conduction Test can diagnose. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Pinched nerves
  • Peripheral nerve injuries
  • Sciatic nerve problems
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome
  • Herniated disc disease
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) Disease
  • Acute inflammatory polyneuropathy and neuropathy
  • Chronic inflammatory polyneuropathy and neuropathy
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Traumatic median nerve damage

If a disorder is detected, it is likely that our Orchard Park physical therapists will also decide to perform an EMG test to record the electrical signals moving through your muscles. This will help determine the severity of the disorder, as well as its exact location in your body.

What can I expect from Nerve Conduction Testing?

Any diagnostic test can seem daunting, but with Nerve Conduction Testing, there isn’t anything to worry about. When you arrive for your appointment, one of our licensed Orchard Park physical therapists will ask you to remove any metal objects from your person as these can interfere with testing results. You may also be asked to change into a gown, depending on the area that is being tested.

You will be asked to either sit or lie down on the exam table, and your physical therapist will position you in the best way for testing. Two electrodes will then be placed onto your skin – one will stimulate the nerve in the affected area and the other will record the results of the stimulation.

Nerves are stimulated by a very brief electrical shock from the electrode. As the testing is being performed, you may notice a slight spasm or twinge in the muscle, which may create some discomfort, but should not be painful.

Nerve Conduction Testing usually takes a total of 20-30 minutes. After testing is complete, your physical therapist will analyze your results. It is likely that this may take a couple days, so your physical therapist may wait to discuss any results with you until your follow-up appointment. After the results are concluded, your physical therapist will design a personalized treatment plan for your specific needs, in order to help relieve your pain and correct your condition.

If you believe you could benefit from Nerve Conduction Testing, don’t hesitate to Contact Us Today at Orchard Park, NY Center. We’ll help you get started on the first steps of the process!