What Are Electrodiagnostic Studies?

Electrodiagnostic studies such as electromyogram (EMG) other nerve conduction studies (NCS) are used to measure the electrical activity of specific muscles. These types of studies are used both at rest and during activity. These studies will inevitably show how fast (or slow) impulses are being sent through musculature. Electromyogram and other nerve conduction studies are completed to find out if specific nerves are responsible for muscular or other nerve related problems or abnormalities. Since musculature acts in predictable ways depending on the action, abnormal movement may signal a nerve abnormality.

Who Needs Electrodiagnostic Studies

Electrodiagnostic studies are conducted on individuals that are suffering from muscle or nerve disorders. Electromyogram and nerve conduction studies are the only definitive way to diagnose these problems. Individuals that need EMG testing or nerve conduction tests typically suffer from nerve-like pain. This includes tingling, numbness, weakness of the musculature, muscle pain, excess muscular cramping, or arm/leg pain that can be classified as a “burning sensation.”

What Do Electrodiagnostic Studies Prove?

These studies are an incredibly important diagnostic tool that physicians and chiropractors use quite frequently. After an injury to the nerves, these tests can be used to help determine the amount of damage, etc. EMG testing and EMG nerve tests prove or help physicians diagnose certain nerve or muscular problems. Often times the EMG test will help a physician diagnose peripheral nerve disorders; carpal tunnel, etc. These tests are also used to help physicians differentiate between affected nerve roots due to an injury of the intervertebral disc. EMG studies and other NCS are also used to determine thoracic outlet syndrome, ulnar nerve entrapment, or cervical radiculopathy.

For non-injury related uses, the EMG and other nerve conduction studies are used to help physicians diagnose diseases such as; muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or myasthenia gravis.