OrthoNeuro offers comprehensive EEG and EMG tests in Columbus, Ohio and surrounding areas to diagnose and assess issues related to electrical activity in the brain, nerves, and muscles. For an accurate diagnosis and quick, effective treatment, schedule your EEG or EMG nerve testing with OrthoNeuro today.
Electrodiagnostic Studies (EMG)
Electrodiagnostic studies involve both nerve conduction studies (NCS) and electromyography (EMG). They are typically administered in conjunction with one another, and sometimes abbreviated as EMG/NCS, but most often are referred to as just EMG.
They work in combination to measure the electrical activity in nerves and muscles and help physicians assess the type and severity of nerve and muscle injury. Injuries to muscles or nerves can be caused by nerve compression, primary nerve or muscle diseases, or secondary injuries related to other diseases. An EMG helps your physician determine if your nerves and muscles are healthy and, if not, determine the cause of the nerve or muscle injury.
What Conditions Can the Testing Diagnose?
- Pinched nerve in neck or back (possibly related to ruptures disk or arthritis)
- Pinched nerve in the arm or leg such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Muscle disorders such as Muscular Dystrophy or Myopathy
- Neuromuscular disorders such as Myasthenia Gravis
Nerve Conduction Studies
Nerve conduction studies (NCS) allow physicians to understand how well your nerves conduct signals by stimulating your nerves with a small amount of electricity, then recording the level at which each nerve conducts the signal throughout its path. To record the responses of these stimulations, electrodes are adhered near the affected area in the form of wires or stickers. The electrodes connect to a computer that analyzes the signals and generates a visual model of them on its screen. Your physician interprets the results by measuring the responses and correlating them to your symptoms.
An electromyogram (EMG) uses a fine wire electrode to evaluate the electrical activity of a muscle. Muscles are controlled by nerves and your physician is able to tell if there is an injury to a nerve by evaluating how the muscles it supplies fire. In this way, muscles in the arm can be tested to identify an injury in the neck and leg muscles can be tested to evaluate an injury in the back. The fine wire electrode used in EMG is slightly larger than an acupuncture needle but not nearly as big as a hollow point needle, used for blood draws or IVs. A computer connects to the electrode by wire to analyze and display signals as an image on screen. It also broadcasts as a sound, in the form of a popping noise, to represent muscle contraction. Physicians test muscles both at rest and with muscle contraction, to make sure there aren’t any abnormal spontaneous signals that shouldn’t be there and that the muscle is firing normally, respectively.
What Can I Expect?
An EMG takes about 30 minutes to an hour to complete. First, the NCS are conducted, and the EMG is commonly performed after. You may feel some pain with the NCS, comparable to snapping a rubber band on your skin. Usually, three to four nerves in the affected area are examined. However, it may be necessary to test nerves in an unaffected limb to compare the two data sets. The EMG is less painful. The feeling of the electrode insertion is comparable to getting your skin pinched, and may cause a dull ache, but is generally well tolerated. Physicians typically test nine to twelve muscles. Arm, forearm, and hand muscles are tested to evaluate neck and upper limb injuries. An EMG of lower extremities such as thigh, leg, and foot muscles is used to evaluate low back and lower limb injuries. Risks of an EMG are very rare.
Who are the Physicians at OrthoNeuro that Perform this Type of Diagnostic Testing?
An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a test used to detect problems in the electrical activity in the brain. Your brain cells communicate with each other through tiny electrical impulses. An EEG measures this activity by placing electrodes on your head.
How the Test is Performed
You will be asked to lie on your back or in a reclining chair. 16 to 25 electrodes will be placed in different positions around your scalp. The electrodes are attached to wires connected to the EEG machine which will record the impulses. The machine converts the electrical impulses into patterns which can be seen on a computer screen and saved to disk.
Why is this Test Performed?
EEG exams are used to assist in the diagnosis of seizures, causes of confusion, sleep disorders, and to evaluate head injuries, tumors, degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, and abnormal changes in the body chemistry that affects the brain.
For any questions you may have about EEG EMG tests, contact OrthoNeuro today to speak with a healthcare representative or schedule an appointment.