Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV) is a diagnostic test podiatrists use to evaluate the nerves and muscles in your lower extremities. NCV is commonly ordered to diagnose conditions such as tarsal tunnel syndrome, peripheral neuropathy, neuromuscular disorders, nerve palsy, or paralysis. This test often accompanies an Electromyography (EMG) test.
Peripheral nerves transmit information between the spinal cord and the muscles. The NCV tests the health of your body’s peripheral nerves by recording how fast electrical impulse travels through them. During the test, you will be resting on a bed with electrodes taped to the skin. A stimulator will then be held against the skin, sending out a small electrical charge along the nerve that may cause a tingling or twitching sensation. The time between the stimulation and response will be recorded to determine how fast and thoroughly the impulse is sent. A reduced speed may be an indicator of a number of conditions related to the nervous system. Depending on the number of nerves being tested, each nerve test may take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour.