If you develop chronic pain symptoms, you will probably first speak to your general physician about what is bothering you. He or she may prescribe stretches or over the counter medication as a first line of treatment. However, when that doesn’t help or the symptoms worsen, you could be referred to a specialist. For pain that is due to problems in the nerves, you’ll want to see a neurologist. Your neurologist may order an x-ray or MRI to see where there might be swelling or evidence of stress on your nerves, muscles, or bones. While these imaging scans can be very helpful in diagnosing and managing your pain, they don’t tell the whole story. To see how the nerve is actually functioning, your neurologist will order EMG testing.
A Nerve Conduction Study Will Help Your Doctor Diagnose Your Pain
The nerve conduction study will measure how well your nerves are sending and receiving signals from the brain and the rest of the body. Unless a nerve is completely severed, there will be some measurable signal. EMG testing will show whether there is a delay in the signal being sent or received. In a pinched or damaged nerve, the electrical waves will travel more slowly. It will also be weaker. By comparing a potentially damaged nerve with a healthy nerve, your neurologist can assess the level of damage.
Once you have the results of the test, your neurologist will be able to give you a diagnosis and suggest treatments and therapies. Depending on the severity of the injury, the road to recovery can be rather long. This is why it’s very important to speak to your doctor sooner rather than later if you have an injury or experiencing frequent pain. Pain is the body’s signal that something is not right. Don’t try to “tough it out”. You might actually be making things worse.
Learn more about Precision Medical Group and how to set up an appointment for EMG and NCS testing.