DIAGNOSTICS

An accurate diagnosis is the first step to resolving a problem.

Electromyography (EMG) and Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS)

These tests are used to diagnose problems that cause numbness, tingling and weakness. EMG involves insertion of a fine acupuncture-type needle into a muscle and then assessing electrical signals at rest and with movement. NCS involve application of small adhesive electrodes to the skin which pick up signals from nerves which the examiner stimulates with harmless electric shocks.

Musculoskeletal Ultrasonography

Musculoskeletal ultrasonography involves using a transducer applied to the skin to scan nerves, muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints. Using ultrasound and a technique known as sonopalpation, the patient and examiner working together can precisely diagnose the source of pain.

Anesthetic Blocks

Anesthetic blocks are often the only way to definitively diagnose the source of pain. For instance, pain in the groin can stem from a problem in the hip or a pinched nerve in the low back. If after a local anesthetic injection to the hip the pain goes away temporarily, then the hip itself is the likely source of the pain. Anesthetic blocks are particularly helpful when diagnosing problems in the spine, where multiple structures, such as the disc, the facet joint and the spinal nerve, can all cause a similar pain pattern.