Simple Test Can Determine Pain Source and Severity
Published February 2008
Nerve pain can affect many parts of the body, but determining the exact source of pain and measuring its severity isnít always easy.
UC physician Mark Goddard, MD, says an EMG (electromyography) test is a good way to localize pain and tell people just how a nerve injury is contributing to it.
EMG allows physicians to see the level of electrical activity inside a muscle in real time, a reflection of the nerve input to that muscle. That electrical output provides information about nerve pain that other tests might not reveal.
An EMG test begins with a nerve connection study. During this session, small electrical shocks, similar in feeling to static electricity, are used to stimulate nerves.
During the actual EMG test, Teflon-coated pin electrodes are placed directly into the muscle and serve as a conductors for electrical activity, providing an on-screen readout of activity within the muscle.
EMG is commonly used for people with neck, back or limb pain caused by pinched nerves or slipped discs, and can also be used to test for nerve pain, weakness or numbness associated with diabetes or other medical conditions.
It might also help determine treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome.
For more information, call (513) 418-2707.