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Idea Electrical Nerve Stimulation

5 months 2 weeks ago #41423 by D.B.Ferguson
Relates to Biology and Medical Physics
A while ago I saw a YouTube demonstration showing how voltages can be made to stimulate muscle contractions: (video is here
).

I have some historic apparatus that can do the same thing but are frowned on using today. I had a thought that a TENS machine (can be bought for ~£20) may work . These should provide safe voltage/currents that can be used in a similar way.

So... I tried one and with a pair of electrodes on my left arm. One electrode just above my elbow joint on my bicep outer slightly outward facing, the other mid forearm inward facing.
These cause muscle twitches as in the linked video (at least the earlier part). Increasing the output increased the spasms as expected. I did not push the stimulating voltage too much as I was happy the effect was demonstrable.

Certainly worth mentioning as a small group activity.

Risk assessment -as I see it:
Hazards
Electrical shock (minor severity)
Likelihood (high probability)
Control factors
Operator is in control of the unit.so can stop when uncomfortable
Current limited by unit design
Single arm is used so no possibility of current affecting heart or other danger areas.

Technicians: providing solutions and more.

David Ferguson B.Sc.

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5 months 2 weeks ago #41424 by D.B.Ferguson
To show how the TENS unit can be used in a class, I created another video.
Minimal set-up and demo is quick (2 minutes but could be extended depending on class and volunteers).

Technicians: providing solutions and more.

David Ferguson B.Sc.

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5 months 2 weeks ago #41426 by D.B.Ferguson
… A little more research to add to the RA.
Do not use the unit:
• you have a pacemaker or another type of electrical or metal implant in your body
• you're pregnant, or there's a chance you might be pregnant – TENS may not be recommended early in pregnancy
• you have epilepsy or a heart problem

Never place the pads over:
• the front or sides of your neck
• your temples
• your mouth or eyes
• your chest and upper back at the same time
• irritated, infected or broken skin
• varicose veins
• numb areas

Technicians: providing solutions and more.

David Ferguson B.Sc.

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