Nerve Conduction Study


A nerve conduction study (NCS) is a test that measures the speed and strength of electrical activity in a nerve. The test can gather information about the structure and function of both muscle and nerve.
Electromyogram of Shoulder—Used in Conjunction with Nerve Conduction Study
Electromyogram EMG
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Reasons for Test

A NCS is most often done to:
  • Help diagnose the cause of pain, cramping, numbness, or weakness
  • Determine if nerves are working properly
  • Identify the difference between muscle and nerve disorders
  • Monitor if a nerve is recovering from injury

Possible Complications

There are no major complications associated with this test.

What to Expect

Prior to Test

Before your procedure:
  • Make sure you talk to your doctor about the medications you are taking.
  • If you have myasthenia gravis, ask if you should take any medication before the test.
  • If directed to, avoid cigarettes, coffee, tea, and soft drinks for 2-3 hours before the test.
  • Shower the day of your test. Do not use any creams, moisturizers, or powders on your skin.

Description of Test

Your skin will be cleaned. Electrodes will be taped to the skin along the nerves that are being studied. A small stimulus will be used to apply an electric current that causes the nerves to activate. The electrodes will measure the current that travels down the nerve pathway. The current will be slower and weaker if your nerve is damaged. Stimulus will be used at different places to determine the specific site of the damage. Nerve conduction studies are often done along with electromyography (EMG).

After Test

You will be able to resume your daily activities after the test is complete.

How Long Will It Take?

About 30-90 minutes

Will It Hurt?

You will feel mild discomfort from the shocks. It should not be very painful.


Your doctor will study the information from the test. A report should be ready within a few days.

leave comments
Did you like this? Share with your family and friends.
Related Topics: Health And Healing
Meet Our Health Experts
Healing and Transformation

Healing and Transformation

David G. Arenson
Destiny amp the Choices We Make
beginners heart

Beginner's Heart

Britton Gildersleeve
of outsiders refugees and the sound of hearts breaking


Our Free Newsletter
click here to see all of our uplifting newsletters »