Monthly Archives: December 2017

What Patients Should Know About Nerve Conduction Studies

Versed as we are in the finest and most efficient pain management therapies, our doctors near Merrillville, IN are frequently asked about the range of procedures and treatments we provide. One such treatment that we offer, alongside infusion therapy—catering to the residents of areas like Munster, IN and surrounding parts—is called a Nerve Conduction Study. Typically, we administer such a procedure after our staff of board-certified physicians and specialists have completed a thorough diagnosis and assessment of a patient’s physical state and level of chronic pain or discomfort.

Definition of the Procedure

Utilizing an electromyogram (or EMG), we are able to measure the electrical activity within a patient’s muscles, both when at rest, and contracted. Our reasoning behind such a study as nerve conduction is to assess the speed at which a patient’s nerves signal each other. Being that the body’s nerves act as conductors and messengers of electricity, the equipment used is meant to detect spikes and waves, as well as any potential abnormalities. Within the field of neurology, we call these electrical signals impulses—encompassing the ways muscles can react to stimuli.

Scope of Nerve Conduction Studies

Inside of our clinic, patients will be guided through their Nerve Conduction Study by one of our experienced and friendly physicians. During the procedure, mild electrical currents will pass along the skin and specific areas of the patient’s body. To assess the functionality of a muscle, we place a precise needle just below the skin, allowing us to measure the electrical activity occurring in the muscle itself. The needles we utilize are strictly for measuring—not applying the electrical current.

As we measure electrical activity, it appears instantaneously on a nearby monitor as a wave or line.

Preparing for Nerve Conduction Studies

Before we conduct a NCS, we ask our patients that they shower or bathe—without the use of a lotion—so that their skin is free of any excess oils. Once patients have arrived, we start by laying small metal disks or electrodes on the areas of the skin where we intend to gauge the electrical activity of nerve cells. Our doctors will then apply a mild electrical current that does not harm or hurt our patients. With the results that we gather from this NCS, we can then devise an appropriate plan to effectively manage and alleviate our patients’ symptoms of pain.