Electrodiagnostic Testing

Injuries or diseases that affect nerves and muscles can slow or halt the movement of electrical signals sent to your brain. If you have pain, weakness or numbness in your back, neck or hands, measuring the electrical activity in your muscles and nerves can help your doctor determine if you have nerve damage, the cause of the damage, and if the damaged nerves are responding to treatment. This process is called electrodiagnostic testing.

Two common electrodiagnostic tests are:

These tests are usually administered by a neurologist (a doctor who specializes in the study of the nerves) or a physiatrist (a specialist in rehabilitation medicine). The tests can be done in less than an hour.

Your orthopedist may recommend electrodiagnostic testing for various conditions including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome 
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
  • Herniated disk disease
  • Chronic inflammatory polyneuropathy and neuropathy
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Sciatic nerve problems
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome
  • Ulnar nerve entrapment
  • Cervical radiculopathy