Your Doctor has Ordered a Neurological Test. What is it?

Neurological tests, or nerve conduction studies, are important in diagnosing problems related to nerves, muscles, spinal cord and/or the brain. These tests measure the speed and intensity of electrical signals through nerves and calculate the time and velocity in which muscles respond to these impulses.

Because nerves actually produce small amounts of electricity, their activity can be affected by disease, injury, or other conditions. Diagnosis is extremely important in helping your doctor develop your treatment plan. Our neurological tests help in diagnosing things like:

  • Pinched nerves
  • Carpal/Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Spinal cord dysfunction
  • Herniated discs
  • Nerve damage
  • Weakness
  • Nerve disorders
  • Neuromuscular disorders

The Test

Our equipment utilizes the latest in technology allowing for the detection of electrical activity in your body. Electrodes and small, thin needles are used to record the electrical activity of your nerves. A specialized computer is used for displaying, analyzing, storing, and printing your data. The tests performed are called an NCS (Nerve Conduction Study) and EMG (Electromyelography).

  • Nerve Conduction Study (NCS): Recording electrodes will be attached to you skin with gel for recording and grounding as well as to serve as reference points. Certain areas of your skin may be cleaned to ensure the best results.Stimulating electrodes will be held against your skin. An electrical impulse will be sent through your nerves and recorded. You may feel a slight impulse or twitch in your muscles, fingers, or toes. The impulse is part of the test and is harmless.
  • Electromyography (EMG): A small pin electrode will be inserted into a muscle to determine the nature of a pathological process. This is a relatively painless test.An effective EMG combined with the NCS can tell your doctor the nature and extent of your injury.

How to Prepare for the Test

  • Be on time: Make sure that you allow the appropriate time for your test. A test takes about one hour, depending on which test is performed. It is important that you are on time and don’t feel rushed.
  • For Best Results: Make sure you shower before your test. Body oils may interfere with the test results. Please DO NOT use lotions or bath oils before your test.
  • Clothing: Please wear loose fitting clothes such as sweat pants or shorts. Do not wear jeans.
  • Meals: You may eat your normal meals at their usual times. Try to avoid tobacco and caffeinated products within 2 hours of your test.
  • Let Your Doctor Know: Be sure to let your doctor know prior to your test if you are on any special medications such as blood thinners, insulin, or psychiatric prescriptions. If you are a hemophiliac, diabetic, have HIV or AIDS, have a pacemaker, skin infection, or bruise easily, it is important to let your doctor know of these medical conditions prior to testing.

What to Expect After the Neurological Test

After your test, your skin will be cleaned of any gel. There are no side effects from our test, so you may drive and return to normal activities, unless instructed differently by your physician.

Our certified doctors will read your test results, interpret your results, and prepare a full report. The report will be available within 24 hours.