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Nerve Conduction Studies

As part of our suite of rehabilitation services here at Curian Medical we have an extensive network of venues in which we can co-ordinate Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS).  Utilising appropriate experts and Neurophysiologists we deliver this timely service at an affordable fee on a nationwide basis.

What are nerve conduction studies?

Nerve conduction studies give doctors information about how well and how fast the nerves in your body send waves of electricity (electrical impulses). This test can be used to check for various different types of problems with the peripheral nervous system. The peripheral nervous system includes all the nerves in your body apart from those in your brain and within the spinal cord itself. Nerves in the brain and spinal cord make up the central nervous system.

What are nerve conduction studies typically used for?

Here at Curian Medical Nerve conduction studies are used for a wide variety of reasons including:

  • To assess nerve damage following an injury
  • To check for damage to nerves, caused by conditions such as diabetes
  • To test for conditions affecting the nervous system
  • To check for ‘trapped’ nerves – conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome

How does it work?

Small electrical pulses made by a machine are used to mimic the electrical signals made by nerves. By attaching a small device that is able to detect electricity or supply electricity (an electrode) to the skin, the nerve can be stimulated with a very small electrical pulse. If the nerve is attached to a muscle, the muscle will clench (contract) in response to the electrical signal.

To test sensory nerves, the electrodes are usually attached to the fingers or toes with another electrode either at the ankle or wrist. When the electrical pulse is applied to the fingers or toes the sensory nerve carries the electrical signal away from the arm or leg. The electrode at the wrist or ankle detects the wave of electricity (electrical impulse) when it reaches that point.

The electrodes are connected to a machine which generates the impulses and detects them. It can measure the time taken for the impulse to travel in the nerve from the first electrode to the second. This information, plus the distance between the two electrodes, can be used to work out the speed at which the impulse is travelling along the nerve. This is referred to as the conduction velocity.

Nerve conduction studies can also be used to measure whether the size of the waves of electricity (electrical impulses) decreases as it travels along the nerve.

Are there any possible side-effects or complications?

Most people tolerate the test very well and have no side-effects or complications after the test.

To learn more about our network for nerve conduction studies or indeed any other aspect of our portfolio of services please do feel free to contact Amanda O’Neill on 07904 630054.

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