Diagnose Muscle Pain with Electrodiagnostic Studies

emgOften times, pain in the muscles can be difficult to diagnose, especially when the pain is the result of injury or disease. Electrodiagnostic Studies are structured to test for irregularities and diagnose the problems associated with the muscle, nerve roots, or peripheral nerves causing pain.

The two most common tests used are called Electromyography (EMG) and Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV). These tests are administered by a physician when a patient is experiencing persistent numbness and tingling or progressive weakness in the extremities. Both of these tests evaluate the muscles and nerves for irregularities or pain sources.

The procedure is non-invasive and exceptionally safe. Throughout the nerve conduction segment of the study, mild electrical impulses are sent along the course of a nerve in a limb. The electrical impulse which feels much like that of a static electric shock will make the muscles in your arm and leg contract. Electrodes much like EKG patches are positioned along the known course of the nerve. The nerve must transmit the signal along its course when stimulated. An electrode set further along the limb captures the signal as it passes by. The signal will transmit faster and stronger in a healthy nerve.

The needle EMG portion of the analysis includes the insertion of very thin pin electrodes into the skin. Muscles typically receive steady electrical signals from healthy nerves, which then “broadcast” their own healthy electrical signals. When inserted into a muscle, the EMG electrodes log the electrical signal created by the muscle. The muscle signals that are broadcast back through the EMG electrode will show the irregularity if the muscle is diseased or injured, or if it does not receive adequate signals from its nerve supply.

Electrodiagnostic testing also can be used to determine the extent of injury to a nerve after an accident and to study the effects of diseases such as diabetes.

If you, a friend, or family member is suffering from chronic pain, call us today at 732-431-2155  to schedule an appointment with a member of the Advanced Wellness team.

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