Electrodiagnostic Testing Makes Diagnosing Nerve and Muscle Problems Faster and Easier

Posted on 
September 21, 2023

Locating the source of nerve and muscle problems can be complicated. Fortunately, the team at Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics uses tools that make narrowing down and pinpointing the cause easier, getting you back to your active life faster.

Forté uses a two-part process known as electrodiagnostic testing or EDX to help detect an injury or disorder of a nerve or muscle and the connections between them.

The first portion of the test is a Nerve Conduction Study or NCS, in which medical staff place electrodes over specific sites on your arms and legs and then apply small electric impulses.

During the second portion of the test, Electromyography or EMG, a tiny pin electrode is used to measure electrical activity in the muscle.

Together, these tests help physicians diagnose or rule out muscle and nerve disorders and determine the best treatment for relieving your symptoms.

When to consider electrodiagnostic testing

Your physician may consider electrodiagnostic testing if you’ve experienced muscle pain or cramping, tingling, numbness, or weakness with no apparent cause. It’s often used to help diagnose:

  • Nerve problems in the arms or legs (sciatica)
  • Pinched nerves in the neck or low back (radiculopathy)
  • Diseases of the muscles
  • Carpal Tunnel in the wrists
  • Cubital Tunnel in the elbows
  • Foot drop
  • Tarsal Tunnel in the ankles

What to expect before, during and after testing

Once you’re referred for electrodiagnostic testing, the experience will be individualized. The time commitment varies per patient, typically ranging between 30 and 60 minutes from start to finish.

There are no restrictions relative to activities before testing, but there are some things to consider. You should wear loose-fitting and stretchy clothes to your appointment. Additionally, you should stop using creams or lotions on your arms or legs approximately 12 hours before testing.

Both parts of the testing process are typically tolerated without needing pain medication.

“The impulses delivered at the NCS electrode sites will feel like a tingling sensation, last less than one second and immediately go away with no lasting effects,” says Dr. Michael Del Busto, a rehabilitation and sports medicine physician at Forté specializing in minimally invasive procedures.

“While there may be some pain or discomfort from the pin electrode used during the second portion of the test, we can control the settings as we go,” says Del Busto. “Following testing, some muscle soreness is to be expected, but it will go away within two to three days.”

You can resume normal activities immediately following testing. Results are typically sent to your physician’s office within 24 hours and will help determine the next steps in your care.

Ready to take the next step? The team at Forté is specially trained to offer electrodiagnostic testing. If you suffer from nerve or muscle problems and are interested in finding out whether EDX is right for you, request an appointment online or call

related articles

Franciscan Orthopedic Surgery Center In Carmel Awarded ACHC Certification

CARMEL, Indiana - Franciscan Orthopedic Surgery Center, which is a joint venture with Franciscan Health Orthopedic Hospital Carmel and Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics, was recently awarded full certification for […]

Veteran Shares Journey with Shoulder Replacement Surgery

Within 36 hours of shoulder replacement surgery, U.S. Army veteran Biane Kidwell could tell the procedure had been successful. “There was a distinct difference between the shoulder pain I had […]

Medical Student Credits Indianapolis Colts, Forté Physicians for “Incredible” Clinical Experience

Adam Munoz is learning what it takes to be a sports medicine physician for professional athletes. Throughout August, the medical student from Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta joined Forté […]
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram