A Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV) Test is an electrodiagnostic procedure that measures how well a nerve works and helps to specify the site of nerve compression. Nerves carry messages between the brain and body. Many conditions, such as tissue swelling, injury, and disease, can put pressure on a nerve and impair its ability to function. Doctors use nerve conduction velocity tests to help diagnose nerve problems and plan treatments.
Nerve conduction velocity tests are usually fast outpatient electrodiagnostic procedures. NCV testing can take place at a doctor’s office or in a hospital. The nerves in the arms and legs are common test sites.
Before the nerve test begins, your doctor or a diagnostic technician will place sticky patches with electrodes on your skin over the course of a specific nerve. During the study, a nerve is stimulated in one or several places. A computer measures the time it takes for a message (nerve impulse) to travel to a second place. A nerve conduction study may feel slightly uncomfortable.
Your doctor will analyze the NCV results. By doing so, your doctor can determine if the nerve is functioning as it should. Your doctor will share the results of your NCV electrodiagnostic test with you.