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This test can greatly enhance nerve conduction studies by studying individual muscle groups. The test involves insertion of thin, acupuncture-like needles superficially into selected muscles to visualize muscle patterns that reflect the state of the nerve and/or muscle and lead to accurate diagnosis. Many disorders of neck and low back pain can be evaluated with this technique. This test is slightly uncomfortable but usually tolerable.
Many peripheral disorders of nerves can be detected by passing small amount of electric current through individual nerves and recording the signal generated. This test is generally painless and extremely useful in the diagnosis of nerve disease.