Electrodiagnostic medicine is the study of diseases of nerves and muscles. By conducting an electromyography, or EMG, Dr. Lehman can see if your muscles and nerves are working properly. If not, this test helps us determine the extent of your disease and how to treat it most effectively.
"I came to Dr. Lehman after enduring years of pain in my hips, especially my right hip. Previous corticosteroid injections, which would help for a few months, had ceased to be effective. Driving, standing, walking - everything had become very painful. Dr. Lehman’s exam revealed several sizable tears in the tendons of both hips. I received the regenerative platelet injections in each hip, directly into the tendon tears, to produce new cell growth to fill in the painful gaps/tears. At that time, my regular pain on a scale of 1 to 10 was: 4 or 5 in my left hip; 8 to 10 in my right hip. Today, after my 12 week checkup, I can honestly say that my left hip pain is usually nonexistent or, at most, a 1, and my right hip pain is no higher than a 2, maybe 3 after driving a long distance. That is like a 75 to 80% improvement for me, and we expect it to continue to improve. I am so grateful to Dr. Lehman and her team for helping me get past the pain and all the associated stress!"- D.K. / Google / Jul 21, 2021
"Three months ago, Dr. Lehman did a stem cell treatment on my knee for a torn meniscus and arthritis. She and her staff provided a thorough explanation of what was involved in the procedure and what to expect in the days after. I am now 80% pain free and able to walk several miles and up and downstairs without discomfort. I highly recommend this practice."- Anonymous / Healthgrades / Oct 14, 2021
"I came to Dr. Lehman after being told by several orthopedic surgeons that I needed a total knee replacement for advanced osteoarthritis. She treated me with stem cell & plasma rich platelet injections harvested from my own body. My knee was significantly improved afterwards and I can walk without my old limp!"- N.M. / Google / Oct 03, 2021
"I am extremely satisfied with my experiences with Dr. Lehman. I've had two procedures done and everything was handled professionally. She is an excellent communicator, and answered any questions I've had. Her bedside manner during the procedures is excellent as well. I've given her name to more than one friend, and highly recommend her to anyone who has joint/muscle issues that may benefit from her expertise."- L.M. / Google / Aug 03, 2021
"Dr. Lehman was excellent. I couldn't raise my arm above my head to wash my own hair. Now I'm swimming and living my life. It was wonderful"- T.C. / Healthgrades / Jul 01, 2021
What is an EMG?
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. The doctor tests only the muscles necessary to decide what is wrong. During the EMG test the doctor will be able to hear and see how your muscles and nerves are working by the electrical signals made by your muscles. The doctor then uses his medical knowledge to figure out what could be causing your problem.
Nerve testing FAQs
Is nerve testing painful?
The needle EMG does require administering a small needle in several muscles, which can cause discomfort in patients. While some pain is expected, this is greatly outweighed by 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 in Asheville, NC. 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.
What is the purpose of the test?
These tests are helpful in finding the causes of numbness, tingling, weakness, cramping, pain, or other loss of function. The doctor who performs and analyzes these tests can tell if your nerves or muscles are not working properly.
What kind of medical training do doctors who do EMGs have?
Doctors who do EMGs go to 4 years of medical school then have 3 or 4 more years of training in a residency program. Most work as neurologists or physical medicine and rehabilitation doctors. Medical training helps the doctor decide which tests to perform based on your symptoms. It teaches doctors what can go wrong with the human body and how to tell the difference between these problems.
Who does the testing?
The American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine’s policy is that an appropriately trained doctor should do all needle EMG testing. A trained assistant or technologist under a doctor’s supervision can do nerve conduction studies.
What should I do before the test?
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.
How is the test administered?
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.
What are the Side Effects?
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 of 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.
How long will the tests take?
The tests typically take 30 to 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.
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