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COVID-19/Coronavirus Update

Overview of the virus

COVID-19 is an illness caused by a new strain of coronavirus. It is believed to spread in ways similar to the common cold—such as through coughs, sneezes, or handshakes. We are following established infection prevention protocols and remain prepared to care for patients. We have trained and practiced for these scenarios. When you enter our clinic, you may see certain staff members wearing masks. This is a preventative measure. Patients who exhibit any respiratory symptoms will also be asked to wear masks and will be rescheduled for non-emergent appointments.

Important Information about your upcoming appointment:

Keep Your Scheduled Appointments

You should not avoid seeking necessary care out of concerns about COVID-19 and you should keep your appointments unless otherwise instructed by your physician. However, if you are experiencing symptoms or think you've been exposed to COVID-19, call your doctor before going to your appointment.

If We Need to Reschedule

Your Appointment
As things evolve, we may reach out to reschedule clinic visits or procedures. In the event that we need to reschedule your appointment, we will call you.

Keep Taking Your Medications

We recommend that you continue taking all medications, as prescribed, unless otherwise instructed by your physician. Contact your physician if you have questions. While you are visiting our office, please remember to follow the CDC’s guidelines concerning social distancing and hand hygiene to protect yourself and others.

EFFECTIVE 3/23/2020 - 4/9/2020:

We will be reducing our office hours and will be open from 8am-2pm. If you have an urgent matter outside of these hours, please call 911. If you need to speak with us about a non-urgent matter, please call our office between the hours of 8am-2pm.

Whether you’re experiencing numbness, tingling, pain or burning sensations or whether you are having tremors, shaking and other symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, we can isolate the potential underlying cause of your neuromuscular disorder.

Treating Muscle and Nerve Disorders

Your muscles are the connective tissue that keeps you moving and helps your body work. Any breakdown in the function of muscle can result in weakness, pain or even paralysis.

That’s why it’s important to diagnose potential muscle disorders early and get on a proper course of treatment to ensure healthy function and maintain good quality of life.

While there is no single cause for a muscle disorder, common causes include:

    • Injury or overuse, such as sprains or strains, cramps or tendinitis
    • Genetics, such as muscular dystrophy
    • Some cancers
    • Inflammation, such as myositis
    • Diseases of nerves that affect muscles
    • Infections
    • Certain medications

Don’t live in pain, our physicians are experts in treating many neuromuscular disorders including the following:

      • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
      • Back Pain
      • Neck Pain
      • Sciatica

What is Neuromuscular Disease?

A neuromuscular disease is a disorder that affects the peripheral nervous system. Patients with neuromuscular disease can have weakness, loss of muscle bulk, muscle twitching, cramping, numbness, tingling, and a host of other symptoms. Problems with the nerve-muscle junction can also cause droopy eyelids, double vision and weakness that worsen with activity. Some neuromuscular disorders can even cause difficulty with swallowing and sometimes breathing.

Diagnosis begins with a history and physical examination in which our physician evaluates a patient’s muscle strength, reflexes and sensation.

Depending on the diagnosis, assessment may include blood tests, radiological studies, and examination of cerebrospinal fluid.

Common tests include:

      • Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS)
      • Needle Electromyography (EMG)

What is a Nerve Conduction Study (NCS)?
A nerve conduction study shows how well signals travel along large nerve fiber and can help find the cause of abnormal nerve function. To perform a study, our physician (or our trained technologist working under a physician supervision) applies small electric pulses to a nerve. The pulses cause the patient to feel a mild tingling sensation; and if the muscle is stimulated, it will jump. The type of problem being evaluated determines how many nerves are tested. The study usually lasts 30-45 minutes.

Common reasons for NCS are:

      • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
      • Ulnar Neuropathy
      • Peripheral Neuropathy
      • Myasthenia Gravis
      • Muscle Disease

What is Needle Electromyography (EMG)?
In this test, which usually is done along with NCS, our physician inserts a thin needle electrode into muscles and records the electrical activity of each muscle that is examined. The activity is recorded so that the physician can analyze it by looking at the signal, as it is rendered by a oscilloscope, and by listening to the sounds and signals made when played through a speaker. The patient may feel mild discomfort when the needle is inserted. All the needles are new and sterile. The numble of muscles studies varies, and testing may take 15-30 minutes.

Common reasons for EMG are:

      • Neuropathy
      • Muscle Disease
      • Motor Neuron Disease

Patients taking “blood thinners: may bleed from an EMG. If you are taking a blood thinner, such as warfarin (Coumadin), let the office staff know when they test is being scheduled.

The physicians at Sandhills Neurologists are board certified in general neurology as well as neuromuscular medicine and vascular neurology by the Board of Medical Specialties. Dr. Tellez has also attended a fellowship in Nerve Conduction Studies (NCV/EMG) and Neuromuscular Diseases at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Sandhills Neurodiagnostic Center currently employs 3 neurodiagnostic technologists. The technologists have several years of combined experience.

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