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It is often performed before an electromyography (EMG) to diagnose and treat conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, nerve injury or sciatica.  

What happens during a nerve conduction study?

A technician will place small pads with metal discs called electrodes over the nerve being tested. They will also place electrodes on the muscles supplied by the nerve. The electrodes are connected to a machine that can send electric signals to the areas and record the activity.

During the test several electric shocks are produced via the electrodes. The time it takes for the muscle to contract (tighten) is recorded. Don’t worry, the shocks are very small and should only produce a slight tingling sensation.

The nerves in the opposite side of your body may also be tested for a comparison.

Nerve conductions studies are usually performed as an outpatient meaning you can go home the day of the test.

The technician may be able to tell you the results of the test before you leave. A complete report on your nerve conduction study will be sent to the consultant that ordered the test.


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