If your doctor has ordered electrodiagnostic testing for you, you may be wondering what it is, how it will be used to diagnose your particular problem, and how the results of this test will benefit you.
Electrodiagnostic Testing Is A Little-Known, Minimally Invasive, Low Risk Diagnostic Tool
While electrodiagnostic testing is often misunderstood, it’s actually a beneficial, invaluable tool if you’re suffering from any type of suspected muscular or nerve injuries or disorders. However, if you aren’t familiar with this type of testing, not having all the facts can be misleading and downright frightening. The doctor who orders this type of testing for you is the best source for information regarding why you need it, what exactly will be done, and what can you expect both during and after the test. The simple definition of this test can be found here on Wikipedia:
There’s No Need To Wait
If you’ve read or otherwise been informed that you must wait for a specific period of time to undergo electrodiagnostic testing for a suspected nerve injury, you’ve been misinformed. Electrodiagnostic testing, also called EMG, is able to immediately detect the most subtle of changes regarding how your nerves are functioning. If you’ve been told that you need to wait for a certain amount of time, then you’re only setting yourself up for more pain and frustration, as well as the possibility that your condition will actually worsen during this time. If your health care provider tells you to wait, ask him or her why. If they can’t give you a valid reason, then it’s advisable to seek care elsewhere.
Electrodiagnostic Testing Is Used By A Variety Of Physicians
EMG testing is a valuable tool for chiropractors, neurologists, and primary health care providers in that it can pinpoint certain nerve and muscle issues that cause ailments from back problems to carpal tunnel syndrome.
Most Electrodiagnostic Testing Is Painless
With the exception of the needle test, which uses needle placement to test muscle function and electrical conduction, EMG testing is relatively painless. While the needles will be inserted into your muscle tissue, only one at a time is inserted for testing, and the needles are smaller than the ones used for collecting blood. Other forms of electrodiagnostic testing include placing sensors along the nerve pathways on your skin and stimulating those nerves to determine if they are working properly or are injured or weak. The pain factor for this is similar to getting zapped by static electricity.
Results Are Available Immediately
Instead of having to wait for your test results, which can be nerve-wracking, the doctor who performs the test is usually able to inform you of the results immediately.