Electrodiagnostics

How Electrodiagnostics Are Used in Measuring Muscle & Nerve Health

Electrodiagnostic tests / studies may be used to examine the function and health of the body’s muscles and nerves. Aspects of electrodiagnostics can answer various questions about a patient’s muscle injury, muscle disease, nerve injury, and more, allowing the patient’s physiatrist to prescribe a proper course of treatment for those injuries or conditions. Electrodiagnostic medicine is a highly specialized, complex form of diagnostics utilized by physiatrists in assessing pain and nerve damage.

There are different types of electrodiagnostic tests, including:

  • Electromyography (EMG) – AN EMG records the electrical activities within the muscle, then publishes this information in a signal or in a visual format. This information is collected through a set of electrodes, which are either put in the muscle or attached to the surface of the skin.
  • Nerve conduction studies – A nerve conduction study (NCS) or nerve conduction velocity (NCV) test measures how quickly an electrical impulse is conducted through a nerve. This allows your physiatrist to diagnose potential nerve damage. The test is conducted by stimulating the nerve, most likely through electrode patches that are placed on the skin.
  • Somatosensory evoked potentials – Also called SEPs or SSEPS, somatosensory evoked potentials look at the brain’s electrical activity following different types of stimulation, including the stimulation of sound, tough, or sight. This can allow your doctor to assess the function of your somatosensory system safely and non-invasively.