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  1. #1
    JunkyardJ's Avatar
    JunkyardJ is offline Titanium
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    Question OT: Can an electric shock repair nerve damage???

    Ok, this is ODD, a couple days ago, I was farting around with my new (to me) osciliscope (Telequipment D61 10 MHZ). Anyways, my dumb ass having consumed a considerable ammount of whiskey, reached around the back of the CRT in an effort to reposition the CRT in it's mount WHILE IT WAS ON, and ZAP!!!! I got about a 1/2" long arc to my left index finger. It was enough juice to BURN my skin, leaving the burnt hair like smell behind, and a small black spot on my finger about the size of this o. It was numb and tingly for about an hour after, but when it recovered, I noticed something interesting!

    The deal with my left index finger is another story of stupidity. I was 14 years old, and I was trying to get a power plug to fit in the back of a frind's CD player so we could listen to some tunes. It was one of those 2 pin jobbies with the notches in the middle, square on one side, rounded on the other. I found a similar cord, but it didn't have notches, or a rounded side. So, I went to work with a very sharp gerber pocket knife whittling some of the plastic off. I slipped, plunging the tip of the kinfe into my left index finger leaving an L shaped cut about 1/2" on each side, revealing the BONE under the resulting flap of skin! Then there was too much blood to see the bone anymore. I kinda stood there wondering why it didn't hurt! Then I scrambled to get something to keep the blood off the carpet. Next, I called my parents to take me to the hospital . Long term results of this were a small scar, and no feeling on the outside half of the finger past the cut. Must have severed a nerve.

    Anyways, the point to all this is that finger has been unable to feel anything on that side past the cut for 15 years. After the shock, I regained SOME feeling. It's kinda like when your foot is asleep, that tingly feeling, and when you touch something it tingles more. That's the best way I can explain it, it's still not right, but there's definitely some sensation where there wasn't ANY before. Anybody ever hear of something like this???

  2. #2
    crossthread's Avatar
    crossthread is offline Stainless
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    We don't want to lose you Junkyard. You may want to stay off the drugs when you are doing electrical work. I think it's possible for something like that to happen to your nerves. If I am not mistaken, nerves work by using electrical impulses. I suppose it is possible that old atrophied nerves could be shocked into sensitivity again or maybe even be somehow re-routed around damaged sections.

  3. #3
    Sander's Avatar
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    Yeah don't go trying this again, please be careful CRTs hold alot of power.

  4. #4
    Toms Wheels's Avatar
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    The short answer is yes it is used with various therapy's. I have a unit called a TENS unit, that hooks to my legs and will move the legs and ankles. It is used for a buddy of mine to regain some use of his hand, he now has some feeling but no control yet. About 100 years ago my grandfather injured his arm, and used a battery rig to stimulate the muscles in his arm, worked for him.

  5. #5
    JunkyardJ's Avatar
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    Arrow Hmm, interesting!

    Maybe I'll try zapping my finger with a lower voltage, and see what happens. I can now feel hot and cold with that finger now, an ice cube makes it tingle, and I actually react to a hot surface from mild pain. I've actually burnt that finger without realizing it a couple times. Not that badly, but it did blister when I picked up a part after welding on it. Now I can feel when my dinner plate is hot!

  6. #6
    Greg White is offline Titanium
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    Are you thinking of bitting a battery post?ha
    GW

  7. #7
    smallshop's Avatar
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    Well, well,well.....we got us our own little frankenstein experiment going on here.....

    ALIVE!!!!!MY FINGER IS ALIVE!!!!!

  8. #8
    JunkyardJ's Avatar
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    Arrow LOL, it's like the demonstration where they zap the frog legs!

    I need to actually look up that device (tens unit) thats designed for this, to see what they do exactly. I knew you could stimulate nerves with electricity, but I didn't know it cold bring them back to life! It's definitely got that frankenstein vibe to it.

  9. #9
    bluegrass is offline Aluminum
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    The answer is NO.

    A TENS unit is for pain control and other functions related to the "Gate Theory" of pain, as described by Melzack and Wall. It won't repair any nerve.

    Peripheral nerves (i.e., your digital nerve on the side of your finger) DO re-grow under certain circumstances, but at a VERY slow pace- it might take years to re-grow.

    More typically the adjacent nerves just "turn up the gain" so that they can provide some information from the otherwise denervated area.

    High gain + high voltage = Yeeeow!

    BG

    Addendum: No disrespect intended to Tom. While the functions of TENS may be useful as he described, and there are some unknown features to be sure, the actual regrowth of the nerve is independent of the TENS current. There are other neuro-electrical therapies available, and he may be referencing some of these.
    Last edited by bluegrass; 08-31-2008 at 10:06 PM. Reason: More...

  10. #10
    Al A. is offline Aluminum
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    I don't know anything about what happend when you zapped your finger, but if you want to look up info on the TENS units, "TENS" is an acronym for "Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator". Generally used to treat people with chronic pain problems, as I understand. Google it, tons of stuff on the web about them.

  11. #11
    Xtrucker_99 is offline Cast Iron
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    hey junkyardj,
    you better get a patent quick. this might be better than viagra....

    dt

  12. #12
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    this might be better than viagra....
    No Xtrucker, the point of application is different, and you might regain...

    Oh.

    I get it. Patent it if you can.

    Jim

  13. #13
    deltap is offline Aluminum
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    I received a severe 480v shock to my hand and arm back when I was 30. Nearly lost consciousness. Doc said I had some nerve damage. My arm throbbed with the pain for a month or so to the point I couldn't sleep without drugs. I couldn't raise my arm above my shoulder for about six months. Gradully I recovered full use and feeling. I am 62 now and where I cut my finger, I still don't have feeling there.

  14. #14
    gary350 is offline Hot Rolled
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    The burn on your finger is from the RF arc which is high voltage and low current. A High current electrical shock can cause nerve damage in less than 1 second. High voltage low current is used for certain medical treatments. Low voltage low current 30 minute shock treatments are used for the purpose of making nerves less sensitive.

    Old people that get so their hands shake all the time can do shock teatments to stop that. A 5 minute shock treatment can stop muscles twitching for several hours. It does not work for everyone. When my mother got old her hands would shake all the time the shock treatment did not help her but 2 puffs of marijuana smoke would stop the shakes all day.

    I have several Tesla Coils I can turn on a tesla coil and take 24 inch long 1 million volt sparks to my right or left hand for several minutes it stimulates the whole body it makes me feel like I have the energy of a 18 year old teenager for a few hours. It is amazing I can mow the yard with the push mower full speed ahead like I could do 30 years ago.

    Here are some pics of my Tesla Coils. I have been on the Tesla Coil Forum for about 8 years. I built about 10 Tesla Coils all sizes from a tiny thing that makes 2" sparks to my largest one that makes 12 foot sparks. I use to build glass plate capacitors but the guys on the TC Forum tought me a better way. I suppose there is probably about 2000 guys all over the world building Tesla Coils so when someone learns something new they pass it on to the whole group. I have sold most of my Coils I still have a 4" and 10" coil.

    http://home.earthlink.net/~gary350/tc2.jpg

    http://home.earthlink.net/~gary350/tc4.jpg

    http://home.earthlink.net/~gary350/tc3.jpg

    http://home.earthlink.net/~gary350/tc10-4.jpg
    Last edited by gary350; 09-01-2008 at 11:24 PM.

  15. #15
    JunkyardJ's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Well, the tingly feeling is going away.

    My finger is feeling more normal now, it's like when your foot goes to sleep and it takes a while to wake up. The tingly sensation seems to be slowly going away, and I keep gaining sensation. Still isn't 100%, but I'll take it! It's a really odd thing to have part of your body wake up after 15 years of sleep. I've been shocked more times than I could possibly keep track of, and I'm sure that finger has conducted it's fair share of electricity. It must have been just the right frequency, voltage, and current to stimulate the nerves back to life.

    I had a pretty good tesla coil when I was younger. It would throw sparks over a foot long, but if I let it arc directly to my skin, it would burn me. It could arc to a wrench I was holding, and I didn't feel anything, but if I touched somebody, it would zap both of us. My cat came up and sniffed my leg one time, and he got zotted right on the nose! He was nowhere to be found whenever I turned it on after that.

    My tesla coil was a dead simple setup. I had a few sheets of glass in a stack with foil on them for a capacitor that was wired directly in parallel with the output of a 14.5kv 25ma oil furnace ignition transformer. The spark gap was between the top of the primary on the adjustable tuning tap, and the capacitor. The secondary was wired to the other end of the primary, and to the other side of the glass capacitor. I'd set the coil on the top of the stack of glass to save some space. The spark gap was LOUD, sounded like firecrackers going off! I made a giant ion wheel for the top of it that looked really cool spinning while throwing off sparks!

  16. #16
    JunkyardJ's Avatar
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    Arrow You guys know what happens when you wiz on an electric fence??

    It's the electrical equivalent of viagra!! NO THANKS!! I'm sure not going to be the guinea pig for that one. It hurts bad enough on a finger!!!

    You guys are welcome to try though, if you can find people willing to volunteer for it that is. A frind of mine accidentally tried that a long time ago. Let's just say the side effects are far from mild!

  17. #17
    JunkyardJ's Avatar
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    Question I don't know what you guys think.

    I don't know if you think this thread is a joke, BS, or what. but I HAVE regained feeling in my left index finger. It's BY FAR one of the strangest things I've EVER had happen to me. A potentially harmful/fatal accident resulting in a benifit. My finger doesn't tingle any more, you know how your foot does when it's asleep?? It's just slightly less sensitive than my right index finger, but only on the outside towards my thumb. The inside is normal, imagine somebody cut off half of your left index finger (on the side towards the thumb) splitting the bone lengthwise past the first knuckle halfway to the second from the tip. That's how that finger felt, like it was GONE! The most I got out of it before was a tingle like it was asleep. NOW, it's not as good as the right index finger, BUT, a considerable ammount of sensation is back. The burn is almost healed, it's just behind the first knuckle (from the tip), on the side opposite my thumb. I really WISH I could describe this better. I'll post a pic so you can get an idea. What I find REALLY ODD is the side that has the burn is the OPPOSITE of the cut, and the cut is the side that went numb! You can see the black lines where I circled the burn, and drew a line where the cut was, and slight scar is.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails finger.jpg  

  18. #18
    JoeFin is offline Stainless
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    JunkyardJ

    It certainly can restore circulation in muscles but nerve damage is an entirely different matter

  19. #19
    anchorman's Avatar
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    junkyard,

    your wierdness never ceases to amaze me. and I do mean that in the best way. glad to hear your finger is working better.

    Be careful, next time you may not be so lucky!

    -jon

  20. #20
    Toms Wheels's Avatar
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    When I was in Rehab for physical therapy, there was a heated box with corn meal in it and a fan that blew air into the bottom of this box, the result was the corn meal was fluidized. A cuff was tied around my arm, and I placed my hand into this heated corn meal. This was to stimulate the nerves in my hands, my palms were 75% numb, fingers about 25% numb, control and strenght were about 80% normal. Today palms about 25% numb, fingers almost normal as well as control and strenght.

    Stimulating nerves does work.

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