6 Compelling Reasons for Neuromuscular Ultrasound

Neuromuscular ultrasound as an adjunct to electrodiagnostic studies offers many benefits

As an adjunct to electromyography (EMG) and Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS), neuromuscular ultrasound provides much deeper insights into neuromuscular disorders. With its real-time, high-resolution imagery, clinicians can observe the dynamics of nerves muscles and their important interactions. This results in more accurate and expedient diagnoses of complex neuromuscular syndromes, injuries, and issues within the context of greater patient comfort and safety. As a result, neuromuscular ultrasound is rapidly becoming a standard of care for neurologists, physiatrists, and other clinicians focused on diagnosing and treating neuromuscular disorders.


While there are many reasons clinicians are increasingly adding neuromuscular ultrasound to their care portfolios, leading neurologists and physiatrists report six compelling reasons for using this innovative technology as a complement to EMG, NCS, and other diagnostic tools.


1. Earlier, more accurate diagnoses

Neuromuscular ultrasound offers clinicians a more comprehensive perspective of the patient’s current muscle and nerve problems. For example, the technology can dynamically assess nerve responses to stimuli and movements that may exacerbate certain conditions. It can more readily detect issues such as nerve tumors or nerve trauma, often much earlier than standard EMG tests. Similarly, neuromuscular ultrasound may reveal the changes of the median nerve at the early stages of carpal tunnel syndrome sooner than a nerve conduction study. These advanced tools also allow clinicians to access and view challenging anatomical regions more easily and at a much lower cost to patient and practice than other technologies such as MRI.


2. Enhanced nerve entrapment syndrome screening and treatment

High-resolution imagery aids in distinguishing nerve entrapment from conditions like arthritis, radiculopathies, and certain muscle disorders. It is recommended for use specifically for carpal tunnel syndrome and other abnormalities affecting the wrist, where branches of the nerve are quite small and difficult to see.  In many cases, neuromuscular ultrasound can help predict and prevent the advancement of these disorders by tracking changes in muscle and nerve structures throughout the course of treatment. The tools often provide the highest resolution imagery possible, imperative for surgical decisions that may result in permanent physiological changes for the patient.


3. Point-of-Care (POC) capability

This technology can be portable and may be used in many different settings and locations, helping mitigate dangerous delays in diagnosis and treatment. It is an invaluable adjunct to EMG for outpatient treatment as a cost-effective way to provide more rapid, accurate diagnoses and interventions. Neuromuscular ultrasound tools can be extremely helpful in emergencies, particularly when occurring in remote or non-clinic settings. Whether it is a chronic disorder or a new injury, the technology provides a more accessible, immediate way to diagnose and treat neuromuscular issues.


4. More accurate, safer needle procedures

High-resolution, real-time imagery allows clinicians a better vantage point to pinpoint needle insertions accurately while avoiding critical structures and vital organs. Neuromuscular ultrasound offers greater accuracy for needle use in more complex areas, including patients with obesity, for whom visual anatomical landmarks may be more challenging to spot. For any scenario when nerves and muscles are difficult to analyze via EMG alone, ultrasound technology provides a visual guide that promotes more precise needle placement. This precision further minimizes the need for multiple needle sticks, reducing patient discomfort.

Patients tend to have greater satisfaction when they can visualize the findings and have the significance explained in real-time.

Jeffrey Strakowski, MD.

Clinical Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Ohio State University School of Medicine

5. Enhanced patient-clinician communication

For many patients, MRIs, needle interventions, and other neuromuscular diagnostic tools and technology can cause stress and anxiety. Neuromuscular ultrasound offers a helpful view for clinicians and patients as imaging progresses. Whether discussing potential treatment options or evaluating the healing process, the result is a unique opportunity for neurologists and physiatrists to educate their patients. As a result, patients typically make more informed decisions and become more engaged in their own care. This builds rapport and greater trust between patient and clinician, turning a potentially stressful visit into a collaborative, patient-centered experience.


6. Leading edge technology

For the next generation of neurologists and physiatrists, neuromuscular ultrasound is the standard of care as an adjunct for EMG.  The fact that more leading-edge healthcare systems and clinicians have already adopted this technology is a testament to its ability to provide a much more comprehensive understanding of neuromuscular conditions. As healthcare becomes more competitive and patients more informed, neuromuscular ultrasound solidifies the neurologists’ position as a leader in patient care.



By delivering better health outcomes and lowering costs, neuromuscular ultrasound has become a transformative force for neuromuscular medicine. From providing state-of-the-art diagnostics to fostering patient comfort and safety, neuromuscular ultrasound delivers a dynamic, non-invasive  and cost-effective complement to neuromuscular diagnostics and treatment that can be deployed almost anywhere, anytime.