NCS Specialist

University Pain Medicine Center  -  - Interventional Pain Management Physician

University Pain Medicine Center

Interventional Pain Management Physicians & Minimally Invasive Surgeons located in Somerset, NJ & Monroe Township, NJ

When your symptoms suggest nerve damage or dysfunction, the physicians at the University Pain Medicine Center may perform a noninvasive nerve conduction study or NCS to identify the source and the extent of the problem. If you have symptoms such as pain, tingling, numbness, or muscle weakness, call the office in Somerset, Monroe Township, Freehold, or Clark, New Jersey, or schedule an appointment online for a thorough evaluation.

NCS Q&A

What is a nerve conduction study?

A nerve conduction study (NCS) is a noninvasive procedure that measures how quickly nerves transmit electrical signals. You may need an NCS if you experience symptoms such as:

  • Chronic pain
  • Numbness or reduced sensation
  • Burning or tingling sensations
  • Radiating pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle pain or spasms

Your provider uses an NCS to learn whether the nerves transmit electrical signals to the muscles or along the sensory nerve at a normal speed. The results allow them to diagnose or rule out nerve damage and muscle problems, and to find the source and extent of the problem.  

When might I need a nerve conduction study?

Your provider may perform an NCS anywhere on your body, using the procedure to diagnose conditions such as:

  • Herniated disc
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Muscle inflammation
  • Muscular dystrophy

An NCS helps identify a range of problems that cause pinched spinal nerves.

What happens during a nerve conduction study?

During an NCS, your provider places two electrodes on your skin, positioning them directly over the nerve requiring testing. Each electrode connects to a monitor that records nerve activity.

A very mild electrical impulse is sent through one electrode, triggering a nerve signal that travels along the nerve to the other electrode.

As the monitor picks up the signal at the second electrode, the information is evaluated to determine the speed, size, and consistency of the electrical impulse through the nerve.

Your University Pain Medicine Center provider may repeat the same test several times on different nerves, depending on your symptoms. Most patients feel slight discomfort when the electrical impulse is administered, but the pulse only lasts for a second, and you won’t have any ongoing discomfort.

Will I have an electromyogram during my nerve conduction study?

When an NCS shows that your nerves are healthy, your provider may perform a needle electromyogram (EMG) to assess the electrical activity your muscles produce when they’re at rest and when they contract.

This procedure uses needle electrodes that are inserted into the muscle to pick up electrical activity while you relax. Then your provider asks you to tighten the muscle to get a reading while the muscle is active.

If you have nerve symptoms such as pain, tingling, and numbness, call the University Pain Medicine Center, or schedule an appointment online, to learn more about nerve conduction studies.


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