Nerve Testing in Asheville, NC

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what is nerve testing?

Many people may experience numbness, tingling, weakness, and more in their extremities (arms and legs) or other body areas. Electrodiagnostic medicine is the study of diseases of nerves and muscles. By conducting an electromyography, or EMG, at Asheville Regenerative Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, Dr. Christie Lehman can see if your muscles and nerves are working properly. If a concern is detected, this test helps us determine the extent of your disease and how to treat it most effectively. If you're in Asheville, NC, contact us today to learn more about nerve testing with an EMG and schedule a consultation.

Am I A Candidate For Nerve Testing?

Anyone who is experiencing nerve issues or nerve pain can be a great candidate for an EMG test in Asheville, NC at Asheville Regenerative Orthopedics & Sports Medicine. Whether caused by a pinched nerve, carpal tunnel syndrome, an injury, muscle disease, or a neuromuscular disorder, typical nerve testing candidates are experiencing:

  • Numbness or tingling in the extremities
  • Reduced sensation
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle spasms
  • A burning sensation
  • Radiating pain
  • Difficulty performing certain tasks (tying shoes, buttoning clothes, etc.)

What Are the Benefits of Nerve Testing?

If you are experiencing issues with your muscles and/or nerves, such as numbness or tingling, treatment can’t come before pinpointing the issue. With nerve testing performed by Dr. Lehman and the team at Asheville Regenerative Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, we can help diagnose your issue. Benefits of nerve testing include:

  • Diagnosing the cause and condition of your pain or discomfort
  • Checking for a variety of diseases and conditions
  • Tests enable our team to formulate a treatment plan
  • Multiple tests are available
  • Tests are often completed in an hour or less

what are the different types of nerve tests?

EMG stands for electromyography. This term is routinely used to describe specialized tests which involve electrical testing of nerves and muscles. The two most commonly performed electrodiagnostic tests are Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS), Electromyography (EMG).

NERVE CONDUCTION STUDIES: NCSs show how well the body’s electrical signals are traveling to a nerve. This is done by applying small electrical shocks to the nerve and recording how the nerve works. These shocks cause a quick, mild, tingling feeling. The doctor may test several nerves.

NEEDLE EMG: For this part of the test, a small, thin needle is put in several muscles to see if there are any problems. It is used once for each patient and is thrown away after the test. There may be a small amount of pain during this part of the examination. Dr. Lehman tests only the muscles necessary to decide what is wrong. During the EMG test, she will be able to hear and see how your muscles and nerves are working by the electrical signals made by your muscles, allowing Dr. Lehman to diagnose any possible issues.

These tests are helpful in finding the causes of numbness, tingling, weakness, cramping, pain, or other loss of function.

How is nerve testing done?

On the day of the test, do not apply lotions or oils to the skin. This is to ensure the adhesiveness of the electrodes and proper responses. Loose-fitting clothing is recommended. Since a majority of the test is completed on your extremities, loose-fitting clothes allow for better access.

Certain areas are cleansed of any dirt and oils on the surface of the skin to ensure the best results. Depending on which area is being tested, you may be asked to lay down or sit upright. Electrodes are placed over specific sites on the extremities, and small electric impulses are applied (NCV). The impulse is a part of the test and is harmless. During the latter part of the test, a tiny pin electrode (EMG) is used to measure electrical activity in the muscle.

There are no lasting side effects from the tests, but the testing itself can sometimes be uncomfortable. The NCSs involve small electrical shocks to the nerve, which may cause a quick tingling or pricking feeling along with an involuntary twitch of the arm or leg. EMG studies use a thin needle inserted into several muscles. These needles are disposable, and a new one is used for each patient. Like any needle, some discomfort may be felt.

The tests typically take 30 – 60 minutes, depending on the complexity of the case. It is imperative to arrive 20 minutes early for your appointment in order to ensure adequate test time.

See more information about nerve testing HERE.

Nerve testing FAQ

Is nerve testing painful?
The needle EMG does require administering a small needle in several muscles, which can cause minor discomfort in patients. While some discomfort is expected, the benefits of an EMG greatly outweigh the importance of correctly diagnosing your condition. Patients who have concerns about pain should discuss this with Dr. Lehman prior to the procedure.

Should I take time off from work after nerve testing?
Because nerve testing is minimally invasive, most patients are able to return to work and daily activities after their appointment. There may be some soreness in the muscles that were tested, but this should be temporary. Remember that these sessions last 30 – 60 minutes, so be sure to make enough room in your schedule before coming in.

Why choose us for nerve testing?
Asheville Regenerative Orthopedics & Sports Medicine provides highly accurate nerve testing at our office. Afterward, we can discuss our findings with you, which will help us to more effectively treat your injury or condition. Our team is committed to providing you with personalized and comprehensive care.

Can I drive myself home after nerve testing?
For most nerve testing procedures like EMG, there's usually no sedation involved, so you should be able to drive yourself home. However, some patients might experience temporary soreness or fatigue. If you're concerned about your comfort or ability to drive, you might want to arrange for someone to take you home after the procedure. It's always best to discuss this with Dr. Lehman at Asheville Regenerative Orthopedics & Sports Medicine prior to your appointment to get personalized advice.

How soon will I get the results of my nerve test?
Generally, you can expect to receive the results of your nerve test fairly quickly. Dr. Lehman will review the findings and may discuss preliminary results with you on the same day as your procedure. A more detailed interpretation might require additional time for analysis, but you can usually expect a follow-up appointment or communication shortly afterward to discuss your treatment options.

Are there any lifestyle changes I should make before or after nerve testing?
Prior to your nerve test, it's recommended to avoid using any lotions or oils on your skin, as this can interfere with the testing equipment. After the test, no specific lifestyle changes are generally required unless recommended by Dr. Lehman based on the results. If your nerve test identifies certain conditions or issues, lifestyle modifications like physical therapy or exercise might be part of your subsequent treatment plan.

Get Nerve And Muscle Testing

If you're experiencing pain, numbness, or tingling without a clear, identifiable cause, nerve testing with a nerve conduction study or EMG is an effective way to diagnose your problems. At Asheville Regenerative Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, Dr. Lehman provides accurate testing and diagnosis for your nerve problems alongside effective treatments to help relieve your condition and regain normal function. Contact us today to learn more about nerve testing and schedule a consultation.

*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.