Electromyograhy (EMG) and Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV) procedures are available at Beach Pain Center. Dr. Noorani uses these forms of electrodiagnostic testing to diagnose diseases of the nerves and muscles. Our staff is well trained and have performed countless numbers of EMG/NCV for private physicians, worker compensation insurance carriers, and for our own patients.
What is an EMG/NCV?
An EMG/NCV test is a diagnostic test that your doctor may order in order to get additional information regarding your medical condition. An EMG test measures the electrical activity of muscles and is greatly helpful in making an accurate diagnosis. The test has two components. The first is the NCV (nerve conduction test) using electrodes taped to the skin. The second component is the needle examination or electromyogram where a small needle is inserted into the muscles. The electrical activity of these muscles is recorded while the muscles are in a resting position, and again when the muscles are contracted.
An EMG test is performed sitting or lying down in a comfortable position and usually takes only 30 to 60 minutes. There may be some discomfort as the electrodes are inserted, which may result in some tenderness for a short time after the procedure.
An NCV test measures the speed and intensity of electrical impulses. It also measures the time it takes for the muscles to react to the electrical signals. During an NCV test, patch-like electrodes (similar to the ones used for EMG testing) are placed on the skin over the nerves and muscles in different areas. Stimulating electrodes are held against the skin, sending very mild electrical impulses through the nerves. This electrical activity is recorded by the other electrodes.
Conditions Diagnosed with EMG/NCV
Patients complaining of neck or back, radiating pain in the arm or legs, muscle weakness or involuntary twitching of muscles may require a nerve test (NCV/EMG). If you experience burning pain in the feet and/or hands or fatigue with minimal exertion, you might be an excellent candidate for the test. You may also be referred for the test is you have neck pain, hand or arm numbness or tingling. Your doctor may want to test to exclude the following:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Ulnar neuropathy at the wrist or elbow
- Pinched nerve (cervical radiculopathy)
- Brachial plexus injury
- Radial neuropathy
- Thoracic outlet syndrome
- Myopathy (muscle weakness)
- Muscular dystrophy
- Myofascial referred pain
Patients that have lower extremity pain may have the following:
- Lumbosacral radiculopathy
- Peroneal neuropathy
- Sciatic neuropathy
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome
- Lumbosacral plexopathy
Preparing for Your Electromyogram
Tell your healthcare provider before the test if you have any of the following:
- bleeding problems
- taking any medications
The first part of the test requires the doctor to isolate specific nerves with precisely placed electrodes. Then, they provide a low-voltage electrical stimulus to activate or depolarize the nerve. The doctor will evaluate different nerves in the extremity. Protocols vary, but be prepared to have about 4 to 6 nerves stimulated. On the day of the test, take a shower to remove body oils and do not use body lotion.
NCV testing is performed sitting or lying down depending on the area being tested and lasts 15 to 30 minutes. Most people experience a tingling sensation during the procedure and some people may experience slight, temporary pain or discomfort. The doctor places a thin needle into 4 to 6 different muscles to look for muscle abnormality. The verbal results of the test may be available immediately upon conclusion of the test. The EMG/NCV test results will be faxed to your referring doctor.
What is sEMG?
Beach Pain Center also uses MyoVision Surface EMG to identify the points in your neck and back where there is abnormal muscle activity, signaling an area of the spine that requires special attention. sEMG is Surface Electromyography. This device measures the amount of electrical activity your muscles release when they are contracting, more commonly known as muscle tension. It is similar in function to an EKG which measures heart muscle activity. It is totally non-invasive, safe and does not cause pain or irritation. It simply requires the placement of small probes against the skin to take readings in just a few minutes.
Muscle Activity Helps You Heal
Muscles have a tendency to “brace and guard” as part your body’s natural defense mechanism against pain or injury. Once the body has sustained an injury significant enough to tear loose the connective tissue surrounding the spine, the brain will signal to the body to create an artificial stabilization of the spine. sEMG is excellent for detecting these patterns of compensation and instabilities to better assist the doctor in locating and correcting the problem.
Just as an EKG can help determine the health of your heart, MyoVision sEMG test results provide important physiological information that can help determine the course of your care. In addition, MyoVision exams can help measure your response to care, document more effectively your health, and track your progress over time.
Experience, trust, and years of knowledge are what we deliver, so don’t let pain control your life; call us today at 817-831-3388(4878).