Nerve Conduction Testing

Nerve Conduction Testing

Nerve conduction testing is a state-of-the-art procedure used by neurologists to diagnose a whole host of debilitating nerve diseases and other medical conditions. Without proper treatment, nerve problems tend to get worse. If your nerves are causing you pain and inhibiting your life, the specialists at the Medex Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Queens, NY use this diagnostic technique to discover the source of your pain and begin treatment immediately to prevent further deterioration. Call today to learn more.

A nerve conduction study — also called a nerve conduction velocity test (NCVT) — measures how fast electrical impulses travel through your nerves. Your doctor uses it to learn if your nerves have been injured. Damaged nerves slow down or even interfere with an electrical pulse during an NCVT.

An NCVT is often used in combination with electromyography (EMG) tests, which measure how your muscles respond to electrical impulses. If your muscles aren’t responding correctly, your doctor must assess the results of the two tests to decide whether there is a problem with your muscles or the nerves sending signals to them. Once identified, your doctor begins the appropriate treatment.

When Do You Need a Nerve Conduction Test?

While you’re explaining to your primary care doctor what sort of problems you’re having, your doctor may decide to bring in an endocrinology specialist. That’s the value of visiting the Medex Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Queens, NY, a multi-specialty practice. No matter what you need, you’ll find a specialist for it.

The endocrinologists who administer the NCVT use the latest equipment, and they provide any follow-up treatment you may require. If your doctors decide you need an NCVT, it’s usually because your symptoms include:

What Conditions Signal the Need for an NCVT?

When diagnosing your problem, the Medex doctor needs to determine whether it’s the muscles or nerves that are behind your symptoms. Your treatment differs, based on the diagnosis. Conditions that affect your nerves include:

What Happens During a Nerve Conduction Test?

The test uses small electrodes that emit very mild electrical impulses through two patches attached to your skin. One of the electrodes transmits a signal down a nerve while the other receives it. The length of the test depends on how many nerves your doctor wishes to test.

A few days before your exam, stop using lotions or oils. Make sure you have a normal body temperature, since lower body temps slow the electrical impulses, skewering the results. Tell your Medex endocrinologist about any prescription or over-the-counter medications you’re taking. The test proceeds with several steps that include:

  1. Your specialist asks you to remove any metallic objects — such as jewelry, hearing aids or eyeglasses — so they don’t interfere with the electrical impulses. You need to wear a hospital gown so your doctor can access the area being tested.
  2. After the doctor attaches the electrodes to your skin and confirms that you’re comfortable, an electric pulse is sent from one to the other. The test involves measuring the time required for the impulse to travel the length of your nerve.
  3. You may notice a mild, brief shock from the electrode during the pulses. While most people tolerate the test well, it may cause a little discomfort.
  4. Your doctor records the nerve response, including the strength and speed of the signal, to use for determining the diagnosis.

After the procedure, you can return to your normal activities without limitations, although you may notice slight bruising or tingling for the next few hours. Once a neurologist examines the results, your doctor devises an appropriate treatment regimen. Early diagnosis and preventive treatment are the goals at the Medex Diagnostic and Treatment Center. Contact your Queens doctor today to treat your ailment before it gets worse.

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