Somatosensory Evoked Potentials (SSEP)

SSEP’s assess the speed of electrical conduction across the spinal cord and are sometimes ordered for patients with back pain. If the spinal cord is significantly pinched, the electrical signals will travel slower than usual.

SSEP’s may also be used to monitor spinal cord function during surgical procedures, although since the spinal cord ends before the lumbar spine, this is usually of limited value during lumbar spinal surgery and it is used more often in cervical (neck) or thoracic (chest) spine surgery.

Further Reading: Exercise and Back Pain