Answering Common Questions About Nerve Testing

If you are living with chronic pain, identifying the cause is the first step to getting the relief you need. When you visit a physiatrist for diagnosis and treatment, one test he or she may recommend is an electromyography diagnostic test , also known as EMG, to see how your muscles respond to stimulation by your nerves. The results of this test can help you physiatrist decide which treatments may work best for you, including the use of chiropractic care, physical therapy, acupuncture, and more. Patients often have questions about this kind of test. Here are the answers to questions that may be on your mind if your doctor recommends you undergo an EMG.

Why is this test performed?

EMGs tell your physiatrist how your muscles respond to nerve signals from the brain. During the test, your doctor will measure the response of your muscles to these nerve signals to determine if there is any kind of abnormal reaction. EMGs can be used to determine if you have a neuromuscular disorder. In some cases, additional nerve testing is done alongside an EMG. A nerve conduction study, or NCS, is used to see how fast and strong the activity inside a nerve is.

Will it hurt?

During an EMG, your physiatrist will insert needles into your muscles in order to see how your muscles act when you contract and relax them. The needles are thin and are only needed in areas being studied. Although there is some minor discomfort involved with inserting the needles, the test is very tolerable for most people. Older EMGs used to be more painful, and many of the stories people have heard about these tests refer to the older version.

What happens after the test?

You may have some muscle soreness for a few days after the test. Your physiatrist will review the results with you and design a personalized treatment plan. A combination of modalities, including physical therapy and acupuncture, may be used in the treatment plan.

The physiatrists at Manhattan Total Health are very experienced in the use of EMG testing and can help you get on the road to recovery from your chronic pain. Find out more about all of our treatments, including acupuncture in New York, NY, by calling (917) 720-2689.

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