What is neurophysiology?
Nerves and muscles generate electric impulses that carry information to and from the brain. Diseases or injuries may affect this function, slowing down or obstructing these impulses. Neurophysiology is the study of nervous system function.
In the case of pain, weakness or numbness in the neck, back or limbs, measuring the electric impulses (speed and degree) in the muscles and nerves may help your doctor set up the correct diagnosis.We, at the Buda Health Center, regularly treat patients with neck and spinal nerve root disorders (pain radiating from the neck or the lower back) such as radiculopathy that may be caused by a herniated disc, among others, compressing the nerve structure. The extent of nerve damage caused, may be shown through EMG and ENG.
ENG shows whether nerve function (furthering of electric impulses) is normal.Electrodes are placed on the skin surface along the nerve lines and the nerves stimulated by a current. As soon as the electronic impulses course along the nerve field, the electrodes take up these signs allowing the doctor to determine the speed of the impulse. If there is nerve damage, the impulse becomes slower and weaker. The stimulation of nerves in various places makes it possible to define the exact location of the nerve damage.
EMG is a technique for evaluating and recording the electrical activity produced by skeletal muscles. The technique consists of the doctor guiding a needle electrode into the muscle in question (one muscle at any one time) in order to gain information in the sound format of the workings of the muscles and their nerves. (In other words, the doctor observes the signs emanating from the muscle on a monitor while, at the same time, listens to the accompanying sounds.) The information thus obtained, together with the physical examination, enables the physician to set up a proper diagnosis.
The examination is safe, non-invasive, no medication required in preparation, no significant side affects.
How to prepare for the examination
Please take a shower before your appointment. Do not apply any creams, body lotions or powders afterwards.Please definitely let your physician know if you have any of the below conditions:
- Had a fever, shivers recently, or noticed signs of inflammation
- Suffer from haemophilia
- Have TB
- Are taking blood thinners (Aspirin or the like) – you may have to stop taking these before the examination
- You have a pacemaker or other implanted medication dispenser
- You suffer from muscle weakness (myasthenia gravis) – your medications may have to be stopped before the examination
- You earlier had cervical or lumbar surgery
You may take all your other regular medications and analgesics (pain killers) before the examination.
The examination takes 40-60 min.