Many people have jobs where they sit in a chair staring at a monitor all day. As a result, muscular and nervous system disorders, such as carpal tunnel syndrome and pinched nerves in the spine, begin to show up. Modern medical technologies that are used by physicians to identify the source of these disorders are Electromyography and Electroencephalography.
EMG and EEG are neurodiagnostic tests that doctors use to understand nervous system function in their patients better. Electromyogram (EMG) and electroencephalogram (EEG) are used to understand and evaluate the electrical function of the brain, as well as evaluate the muscular and nerve function in the legs and arms.
The tests last less than an hour and are completely painless. An EMG combined with an NCV test (Nerve Conduction Velocity) gives insight on nerve response in the brain and reflects what is going on in the back and neck. NCV can become slightly uncomfortable for some patients as it involves testing the limbs for a nervous response.
Potential brain disorders such as stroke, seizures, transient Ischemic attack – or mini stroke require an EEG to analyze the brain waves of the patient and determine the source of the disorder. The tests will be carried out by a qualified technologist who will paste pads on the patients head that record brain wave activity in a stimulated and resting state.
The test itself does not require any invasive practices. The patient is required to open and close their eyes or hyperventilate on command, as well as watch flashing lights while the sensors record the brains response to the stimulus. Technologists are trained to read the results of the EEG test and report their findings to your doctor. There are no post-test criteria that you need to take into consideration like you would with an invasive operation.
Doctors use NCV and EMG examinations in the evaluation and testing for muscular disorders such as Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, pinched nerves in the spine known as radiculopathy, as well as peripheral neuropathy. A doctor will evaluate by inserting sterile pins into the muscle bellies of the patient. These pins are attached to a microscopic electrode and an linked to an electrical device. The pins are inserted into muscles around the patient’s shoulders and back, measuring muscular response to mild electrical stimulus produced by the EMG device.
The EMG test measures the frequency and speed of the electrical impulses, providing valuable information on the health of the nervous system. EMG tests can be effective in diagnosing the causes of muscular tingling, cramping, fatigue, and pain or numbness in limbs. The doctor should be able to read the findings of the test immediately and present them to the patient. It is common for patients to feel mild discomfort in the areas where the pins were inserted post consultation, that will subside shortly afterward.