Vibhooti Dave, DO is Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Board Certified in Electrodiagnostic Medicine. Dr. Dave specializes in the treatment of non-operative disorders of the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spines as well as disorders of the entire musculoskeletal system and provides expert consults on musculoskeletal rehabilitation issues.
What is an Electrodiagnostic Study?
An Electrodiagnostic study consists of 2 parts, Electromyography (EMG) and Nerve conduction studies (NCS).
This is a study that is used as a diagnostic tool to detect nerve or muscle injury. This test assists in localizing the location, severity, and chronicity of a muscle or nerve injury. This test is also useful in evaluating the degree of recovery from a nerve or muscle injury. The electrical response and action of the nerves and muscles are monitored using small electrodes that are taped to the skin and display the impulses on a computer screen. Commonly diagnosed conditions include radiculopathies (pinched nerves form the neck or back), peripheral nerve injuries (such as carpal tunnel syndrome) and muscle disease.
What does the test feel like?
Some parts of the test can feel uncomfortable, however most patients are able to tolerate the study without any significant difficulty.
The Nerve conduction portion of the test consists of taping small electrodes to the skin followed by giving a small electrical impulse to the nerve occasionally causing a muscle twitch which is not painful.
The EMG portion consists of inserting a small needle electrode into the muscle to study the electrical impulse generated from the muscle. Patients are asked to first relax the muscle completely and then later asked to contract a muscle so that the electrical communication of the muscle and nerve can be evaluated.
What can a patient do to prepare for an EMG/NCS?
Avoid wearing lotions or creams which could prevent the electrodes from adhering to the skin. Wear loose fitting comfortable clothing. Try to keep your muscles relaxed as tense muscles can make the test more uncomfortable.
You can call the Spine Institute of Arizona at (602) 953-9500 today to schedule a consultation.