Electrodiagnostic Testing

Spine, General Orthopedics, and Sports Medicine located in Redwood City and Santa Clara, CA
Electrodiagnostic Testing

Electrodiagnostic Testing services offered in Redwood City and Santa Clara, CA

Electrodiagnostic testing is used to diagnose injuries and disorders of the peripheral nervous system. This testing includes analysis of the complex connections of the spinal nervous system and common conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Sometimes an injury to a musculoskeletal region can also damage a nerve, and the nerve pain can masquerade as musculoskeletal pain. The SOAR Spine and Orthopedics experts use electrodiagnostic testing at their offices in Santa Clara and Redwood City, California to sort out these complex issues. You can also make an appointment book through the online reservation system.

What is electrodiagnostic testing?

Nerve cells send electrical impulses throughout the body to signal action and deliver messages. Injuries and other conditions disrupt that electrical activity, rendering your body unable to efficiently communicate with itself.

Two standard electrodiagnostic tests exist, electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies (NCS). These tests measure the level of electrical activity and allow the SOAR Spine and Orthopedics team to make a diagnosis.

An EMG stimulates muscle cells to generate an electrical signal that can be picked up by a small needle carefully placed in the muscle. The experts analyze this information to check for electrical abnormalities that could indicate nerve damage.

NCS is often done with an EMG, where the doctor tapes electrodes to the skin, and can accurately record the speed of your muscle and sensory nerve fibers. 

Is electrodiagnostic testing painful?

Most patients experience mild discomfort during the procedures; however, this quickly resolves. 

Some patients might notice slight discomfort or bruising around the site of the EMG needle insertion. The sensation imitates the feeling of static shock for comparison.

What conditions does electrodiagnostic testing help diagnose?

EMG and NCS provide insightful information for musculoskeletal function. Your doctor can recommend electrodiagnostic testing to aid in the diagnosis of:

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Pinched (compressed) nerves
  • Muscle diseases like muscular dystrophy
  • Sciatica and injured spinal nerves
  • Brachial plexus injuries
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome

Electrodiagnostic testing can detect the presence of hundreds of conditions and injuries, not just these common ones. The neuro-musculoskeletal experts can better treat any potential ailments with the information provided by EMG and NCS.

How do I prepare for electrodiagnostic testing?

Instructions will be provided to you by the SOAR Spine and Orthopedics specialists. However, some general guidelines can help you prepare for an EMG and NCS.

You can eat and drink as usual, but it’s best to avoid using lotions that prevent adhesives from sticking to the skin. Short sleeve shirts and shorts allow doctors more accessibility to your skin and help streamline the process.

You should also notify the practitioner of any blood thinner usage, like warfarin, as an EMG involves a needle and could cause hemorrhaging.

Schedule your electrodiagnostic testing today at the Santa Clara or Redwood City, California, office by calling or booking through the online reservation portal.