Neuromuscular diseases are neurological conditions that arise from problems with muscles and nerves. Because these diseases can overlap with and mimic the symptoms of other neurological diseases, effective diagnosis and treatment require specific knowledge in this field.
At Cleveland Clinic in Florida, our neurologists have subspecialty certification to diagnose and treat even the most complex or challenging neuromuscular conditions. We offer team-based, comprehensive neuromuscular care in convenient locations across South Florida and the Treasure Coast.
ALS Treatment, Neuromuscular Care and Electrodiagnostic Medicine: Why Choose Cleveland Clinic in Florida
When you choose Cleveland Clinic in Florida for neuromuscular care, you benefit from:
- Collaborative treatment: Your care is in the hands of an entire team of experts. Our neurology experts and physical medicine and rehabilitation (PMR) physicians work together to treat neuromuscular conditions and their related symptoms. We also collaborate with occupational, speech and physical therapy to help increase your function and quality of life.
- Specialized physicians: You receive treatment from a doctor who is an expert in your diagnosis. Our neurologists have subspecialty certification in neuromuscular medicine with the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and the American Board of Electrodiagnostic Medicine to provide specialized neuromuscular care. Meet our team.
- Convenient access: At Cleveland Clinic Weston Hospital, the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Clinic includes the expertise of neurologists, nurses, physical therapists, speech therapists, respiratory therapists, occupational therapists and nutritionists. You receive an evaluation and treatment plan during one convenient, multispecialty visit. Research shows this team-based care model can increase the quality of life for people with ALS.
- Patient-centered, compassionate care: Electrodiagnostic testing can be daunting or uncomfortable. We prioritize your comfort by answering all your questions, walking you through what to expect and checking in with you during the test. Our goal is to make the experience as smooth as possible.
- Timely testing results: A variety of specialists refer patients to us for electromyography testing (EMGs) and other electrodiagnostic tests. We aim to get you answers quickly, often sharing test results with your doctor the same day as your appointment.
Neuromuscular Diseases We Treat
Our specially trained neurologists evaluate and treat the full range of neuromuscular conditions, including:
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
- Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.
- Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP).
- Guillain-Barré syndrome.
- Muscular dystrophy.
- Myasthenia gravis.
- Myositis, including dermatomyositis and polymyositis.
- Peripheral neuropathy, including polyneuropathy.
We use a variety of tests to evaluate and diagnose neuromuscular diseases. Diagnostic testing may include:
- Blood tests to look for chemical markers of a disease or rule out other conditions.
- Genetic testing to check for hereditary muscle and nerve conditions.
- Imaging, such as MRIs, to look closely at your brain and spinal cord.
- Electromyography (EMGs) to evaluate specific nerve and muscle disorders.
- Skin biopsies to check for small fiber neuropathies.
- Muscle biopsies to look for muscle diseases.
Our goal is to provide treatments that can help improve your quality of life. Treatment for neuromuscular diseases is broad. Some treatments can resolve your condition and symptoms or they may control the disease and slow down its progression. Our neurologists create personalized treatment plans that may include:
- Medications: Your doctor may prescribe medicines that help control symptoms, either by reducing or eliminating them.
- Neuro rehabilitation: Specialized occupational therapists, physical therapists and speech therapists offer a wide range of treatments to increase your quality of life. They can help you increase strength, improve communication or use assistive devices to improve overall function. Learn more about neuro rehabilitation.
- Infusion therapy: Some people with neuromuscular conditions benefit from intravenous (IV) medications. You may receive immunosuppressant medications designed to keep your immune system from attacking healthy tissue.
What to Expect During an EMG
An electromyography (EMG) test evaluates the health of your muscles, nerves and neurons, the cells that send signals to your muscles. It’s an important procedure for diagnosing problems with your muscles and nerves.
An EMG typically involves both a nerve conduction study and a needle EMG. The nerve conduction study uses brief electrical currents to evaluate your nerve signals. The needle EMG uses small, thin needles inserted into specific muscles to record electrical activity. These electrical shocks and needles can be temporarily uncomfortable or cause mild pain, but discomfort should resolve when the test is over.
You should bathe before the test to remove any oils from your skin. Avoid applying lotions or creams to your skin. During an EMG you should expect to:
- Lie flat on a table or hospital bed.
- The doctor uses a special device or electrodes to send small electrical shocks to your nerves. You relax your muscles during this portion of the test.
- Your doctor inserts small needles into specific muscles. They may ask you to contract or relax your muscles during this portion of the test.
The length of the test may vary depending on your symptoms and the muscles involved. For most people, EMGs last between 30 and 60 minutes. You may have some minor bruising where the needles were inserted.
We share the results of your exam with your referring provider. Your referring provider will follow up to discuss next steps with you.
Appointments & Locations
Make an appointment at a Cleveland Clinic location in Florida or schedule a virtual visit.