Neuromuscular Center

At the Neuromuscular Center at Premier Health, we use a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to diagnose and treat neuromuscular disorders. These conditions affect the function of muscles and can cause discomfort and limit movement.

Your neuroscience care team combines the expertise of neurologists, neurosurgeons, neurology nurse specialists, dedicated neuroscience social workers, and physical, occupational and speech therapists to treat your symptoms and provide supportive care so you can live a full and active life.

Symptoms Of Neuromuscular Conditions

When muscles cannot receive signals from the nerves, they do not work properly and become weak. Muscle weakness can cause different symptoms, including:

  • Muscle atrophy
  • Nerve pain (burning or stinging)
  • Numbness
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Trouble breathing
  • Weakened heart muscles

Some neuromuscular conditions do not progress or change over time, while others can worsen and cause conditions such as breathing problems associated with muscular dystrophy.

There are many different types of neuromuscular disorders, including:

Diagnosing Neuromuscular Disorders

An accurate and specific diagnosis makes planning for your future care more successful. Your doctor will talk with you about:

  • Your symptoms
  • Medical history
  • Physical activity

A physical exam helps your doctor identify signs of a neuromuscular disorder. Your doctor may observe and assess how you:

  • Walk
  • Stand
  • Move
  • Perform certain tasks

Your doctor also will order certain diagnostic tests, which may include:

  • Blood tests. A blood sample is taken and studied for signs of infection or abnormal conditions.
  • EMG (electromyography) measures the muscle response to an electrical impulse.
  • Lumbar puncture. A thin needle inserted into the space around the spinal column removes a sample of cerebrospinal fluid to measure the red and white blood cell count and check for signs of infection or disease.
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). Magnets and radio waves create detailed images of the brain and spinal cord.
  • Nerve and muscle biopsies
  • Nerve conduction studies check how quickly electrical impulses move through specific nerves to identify nerve damage.
  • Sensory (evoked potentials) testing. These tests measure the time it takes for the brain to respond to sensory stimulation from sight, sound or touch.

Treatments For Neuromuscular Disorders

Treatments for neuromuscular disorders focus on reducing your pain and improving your quality of life. While neuromuscular disorders have no cure, we use a broad range of therapies and treatments to help you remain independent and feel good.

Your specific care plan depends on your diagnosis and symptoms. Options include:

  • Canes/assistive devices. You may benefit from using certain devices that help make everyday tasks easier to accomplish. A physical therapist shows you how to properly use the device.
  • Drug therapy. Your doctor may prescribe medicine to help reduce your symptoms.  
  • Occupational therapy. You work with a therapist to learn how to perform activities of daily living, such as buttoning a shirt or using the bathroom.
  • Pain management. A pain specialist provides therapies and exercises and other strategies for reducing and managing your pain.
  • Physical therapy. You work with a physical therapist to strengthen your muscles and achieve proper movement.
  • Prosthetics. Artificial limbs can help you maintain movements and perform regular activities.
  • Speech therapy. You work with a speech therapist to improve and maintain your speech.

If you are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, you may need additional care. Your doctor will work with specialists at the Multiple Sclerosis Center at Premier Health to provide the right treatments for you.

Other neuromuscular disorders are caused by another medical condition, such as diabetes. If your neuromuscular disorder is related to another diagnosis, your doctor works with you and other specialists to create a care plan that addresses your whole health.

Contact Us

Our specialists are ready to help you get back to the things that matter most in your life. Find a provider near you or consult our list of related practices.

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