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Physiology of Electric Shock

Physiology of Electric Shock

Most people have experienced some form of electric shock where electric current causes their bodies feel pain or trauma. If one is working around electric circuits that have high voltage, electric shock becomes more detrimental where pain is the least concern of the shock. Since electric current is conducted through a material, any form of resistance to the flow of electrons leads to energy that is in the form of heat. This is the basic understanding of electricity effect on living tissue where current heats up the tissue. If this heat is plenty, the tissue may be burnt. To put this in a better perspective, the physiological effect of electric shock is similar to the damage that may be caused by an open flame. However, electricity has the ability to cause more harm to the tissues beneath the skin and internal organs.

Another physiological effect of electric current is on the nervous system of the victim. This coordinates the brain, spinal cord, and other sensory organs in the body. Nerve cells communicate to each other and produce neurotransmitters when stimulated by electrical signals (Tasaki, 2012). When electric current of sufficient amount is conducted through a living creature, it supersedes the electrical impulses generated by the neurons. As a result, it overloads the nervous system and prevents the ability of reflex signals to trigger the muscles. Muscles triggered by external current (shock) contract involuntarily, where the victim has no control over it.

The problem of electric current becomes worse when a victim contacts an open circuit with bare hands. Biologically, there is better development of the forearm muscles that are responsible for bending fingers than the muscles responsible for extending the fingers. Therefore, when the two muscles contract due to an electric current that passes through the person’s arm, the bending muscles will dominate (Tasaki, 2012). Eventually, this leads to the clenching of fingers into a fist. If a victim touches a live current conductor through his palm, the clenching action will make the hand grasp the wire more firmly. The victim will be unable to release the wire and this will worsen the electric shock. Medically, the condition of involuntary muscle contraction is referred to as tetanus. To deal with the shock-induced tetanus, the electric current running through the victim should be stopped.

Electric current goes beyond skeletal muscles in a shock victim. Moreover, the diaphragm muscle that controls the heart and the lungs may be “frozen” in a tetanus state by electric current. Even currents that are too low to cause tetanus are able to disorient nerve cell signals, causing the heart not to beat properly.  This condition is called fibrillation and causes the heart to be ineffective in pumping blood to the vital body organs. Eventually, a strong electric current through the body leads to cardiac arrest. However, it is ironical to note that medics make use of a strong jolt of electric current, applied across the chest of the victim, to make a fibrillating heart resume a normal beating pattern. Electric circuits may have Direct Current (DC) or Alternating Current (AC). The effect of AC on the body depends on the frequency where a low-frequency (50-60 Hz) is more harmful that a high-frequency (Kroll & Ho, 2009).  Similarly, a low-frequency AC is five times more dangerous than DC of the same voltage and amperage. This is because it causes a prolonged muscle contraction (tetany) that freezes the hand to the source of current and hence causes an extended exposure. On the contrary, a DC causes a single convulsive contraction that pushes the victim ways from the source of current.  In either way, all electric currents that are high enough to cause a muscle action should be avoided.



Kroll, M. & Ho, J. (2009). TASER® Conducted Electrical Weapons: Physiology, Pathology, and   Law. New York: Springer.

Tasaki, I. (2012). Physiology and Electrochemistry of Nerve Fibers. New York: Elsevier.

Tennis Elbow – Related to Occupational Therapy


Tennis Elbow – Related to Occupational Therapy


Lateral epicondylitis is the technical name for a condition called Tennis elbow. It is the inflammation of the bony part of the elbow at which the muscles attach causing tendon degeneration hence resulting into elbow pain from the lateral side. This takes place mainly in the tendon which connects the ECRB muscle to the elbow, increasing pain receptors hence increasing tenderness of the region.

Causes of Tennis elbow

Tennis elbow is caused by recurring strain emanating from repeated extension of the muscle from wrist bending against resistance. Manual laboring and sport are the main causes of this condition. Performing strenuous activities such as plumbing, carpentry, weight training as well as gripping objects which are heavy like manually driven screw driver could increase the chances of developing Tennis elbow condition as compared to  tennis playing. Tennis elbows can also be caused by playing tennis if the backhand technique used is meager. By bending of the wrist as a back hand is struck, the impact is transferred to the elbow via the tendons and not through the whole arm. This force then increases the muscle activity thus overstretching the muscle leading to Lateral epicondylitis. This condition can occur in two ways .In the first instance , an abrupt occurrence is evident  at once when exertion of the wrist is strained resulting to small tears in the tendon. Secondly, a late occurrence might be seen within a span of between 24 to 72 hours following a rigorous unique wrist extension (Scher et al (2009)


Lateral epicondylitis manifest through a consistent pain at nearly one to two centimeters below lateral epicondyle which is the outer section of the elbow. This is felt when straightening hand and fingers.  Tennis elbow can also manifest by wrist weakness and inability to perform simple activities such as hand shake and door opening. Interruption of impulse transmission affects the whole arm hence preventing occupational activities in adults Injuries in the neck can also cause tennis elbow due to interruption of impulse transmission (Board 2012)


Treatment strategies applied together helps resolve the problem after a long time. Enough exercise, rest, physical and occupational therapy can be used during the initial stages. Cold therapy can also be used whereby ice is applied to the affected part for pain relief. Strain can be reduced through tendon protection by wearing a tennis elbow brace. Other methods of management of tennis elbow involve the use of laser treatment to relieve pain, reduce inflammation and to promote healing. Pain reducing drugs such as Ibuprofen and steroids for example cortisone, has shown good progress for better prognosis. Massage therapy, transverse friction method and acupuncture may also augment cold therapy during management of tennis elbow (Tennis elbow. (n.d.).

Full root analysis for tennis elbow needs to be done to help eliminate the main cause of the condition. In serious situations where symptoms persist for a period of up to twelve months  after non-surgical management,  proper diagnosis using MRI scans, x-rays, as well as  test of nerve function can be done  and the patient  prepared for surgery  where the extensor  muscle is detached and resection of  lateral epicondyle  done , it may also involve the removal of hypertrophic synovium by way of  general anesthesia,  depending  on the extent of injury and doctors advise .After surgery, temporary arm immobilization is necessary using a splint which is removed after one week. This is followed by exercise in order to improve flexibility and elbow stretching.  Strengthening activity is then begun two  month later and normal return to athletic activity after the surgery is allowed between four and six months (wiley (2011)


Tennis elbow is indeed a condition caused by strenuous activities duet to .Proper occupational and physical treatment may help heal the condition but surgical options may also work when the conditions worsen. Due to its link with muscles activities, the condition will certainly affect occupational activity of the victim.


Scher, D., Wolf, J., & Owens, B. (2009). Lateral Epicondylitis. Orthopedics. Retrieved March 17, 2014, from

Wiley, J. (2011). Microcurrent Therapy in the Management of Chronic Tennis Elbow: Pilot Studies to Optimize Parameters.. Microcurrent Therapy in the Management of Chronic Tennis Elbow: Pilot Studies to Optimize Parameters.. Retrieved March 17, 2014, from

Board, A. (2012, November 8). PubMed Health. Tennis elbow. Retrieved March 17, 2014, from Copy & Paste | Parenthetical

TENNIS ELBOW (lateral epicondylitis). (n.d.). The Hand Clinic. Retrieved March 17, 2014, from

Sports Psychology assignment

Sports Psychology


The marble role is one of the projects that engage students mind and body. For the past decades, it has been proven important to maintain a positive state of the brain and mind in sports activities. Sports psychology encourages those engaging in sports activities to be in a positive environment that motivates their state of mind. The purpose of this report is to analyse the rolling marble results. In this project, there were 36 participants; 23 women and 13 men, aged 19 to 43 years. The participants were divided into 3 groups namely, Berwick, Gippsland, and Distance. Each roller had three rolls and the average of all three was calculated.  The implication of this study is that, the game emphasizes more on mental strength and how an individual can handle pressure. Participants had to be consistent to understand the game and win. Before starting, students had a period to understand and familiarise themselves with the task.


Although coaches emphasize more on the physical aspect of sport activities, sport psychologists focus more on the mind. Social psychology obliges the need for athletes to be equipped with the required skills and abilities to win. This field encourages athletes to value mental strategies such as early preparations, relaxation, and coping with pressures of winning or losing. Coaches are also encouraged to promote high self-esteem in participants. Based on the project’s results, one can affirm that students performed well when competing as a team rather than individually. The Berwick group had the highest mean score of 100.7 while Distance had the least mean score of 40.4. The psychology behind this analysis is that, team work motivates athletes to perform well. Team work and team building are essential skills that coaches and athletes should possess to succeed in sports activities. When athletes adopt the concept of teamwork, they are more likely to increase in their work performance (Singh, 2005).

According to Wallace (2010), there is high morale and motivation when people are working as a group in a given task. A continuous interaction in sports activities increases friendship, unity, and mutual association.  When people perform sports activities in groups, they accomplish the task faster and at an easy pace. Working as a team creates a healthy competition. Team work helps a sportsperson to compete with each other and excel in all ways. Teamwork also boosts satisfaction and professional fulfilment. The two factors are also favourable in creating workplace enthusiasm and motivation (Madden & Netter, 2010).

The data for Gippsland represents 6 students who were not overtly competing. The psychology behind this analysis is that, students from this group lacked morale to perform well. Lack of competition creates anxiety and decreases a drive to excel and embrace every obstacle (Tod, Thatcher & Rahman, 2010). Athletes who lack competition are more likely to develop anxiety than those who value completion. Anxiety tends to be highest when there is no competition while self-confidence and morale increases when there is competition. Overall, the hypothesis projected by the results is that, people are more likely to succeed when working as a team and in a strong competition (Chang, 2010).


Basically, students were required to stand behind a line and roll marbles towards the floor. The target was four metres from the line. Prior to starting, all students had an adequate time to familiarise themselves with the task. The project utilized qualitative method to compile the results. Typically, students were divided into three groups. The first group was Berwick with 10 students put into 2 teams competing for the best outcome. The second group was Gippsland with 6 students who were not overtly competing. The last group was distance with 20 students who completed the task individually. The project was comprised of 36 participants, 23 women and 13 men. Each roller was comprised of three measurement rolls and the average was further calculated for comparison.


The data for the three groups is presented in the table below.

Groups Number of Participants Mean Score Std. Deviation Minimum Maximum
Berwick 10 100.7000 47.81690 20.00 193.00
Gipps 6 89.6667 43.49559 38.00 150.00
DE 20 40.8000 32.63934 3.00 127.00
Total 36 65.5833 47.32102 3.00 193.00


The first group consisted of 10 participants and their total mean score amounted to 10, 007. The formula of calculating Mean score is total of mean score values/the number of participants.  From this formula, the first group had a mean score of 100.7000. The other groups’ mean score amounted to 89.6667 and 40.8000 respectively. In group 1, the lowest mean score was 20 while the highest mean score was 193.00. The highest score was derived from Roll 1+Roll 2+Roll 3/3 (227+181+172/3=193). The lowest score was derived from 3+22+36/3=20.  In group 2, the lowest mean score was 38 and the highest mean score was 150.00. The last group had a minimum score of 3.00 and a maximum score of 127.00. From all the results, group 3 had the least minimum score while group 1 had the highest maximum score.  Standard deviation is calculated from the following formula where x represents the total values, m represents the mean score and N the total participants.


The results hypothesised that a low number of mean score reveals great accuracy results. This is derived from the assumption that, few people are more likely to make few mistakes unlike when people are many.  However, a large number of people are more likely to have a high performance than when working as an individual. This is derived from the assumption that, teamwork boosts performance and results. From the results, one can draw a hypothesis that team work boost morale and motivation. Athletes are motivated more when working in groups than individually. However, accuracy is achieved when working with few individuals because they are less likely to disagree with one another. As previously mentioned, the second was not overtly competing and this had a tremendous effect on their performance. Lack of competition may lower the results since there is nothing to challenge an individual.      According to Chang  (2009), it is important for athletes and coaches to understand psychological skills that enhance better performance in sports. Athletes who are well prepared, motivated, inspired, and working in groups are likely to succeed. It is crucial for athletes to understand how to manage competition in their environment. They must develop a competition routine; attain high concentration in the field, and take pride in their strengths. Coaches should promote an understanding and supportive environment. It is crucial for coaches to consult trained sport psychology experts if athletes lose focuses when injured, engage in excessive cognitive thinking, have excessive undesirable behaviours, and when they intentionally harm others. The importance of these results is that, they create insights to readers on the psychology behind sports activities.



Chang, C. H. (2009). Handbook of sports psychology. New York: Nova Science Publishers.

Chang, C. H. (2010). Handbook of sports psychology. Hauppauge, N.Y: Nova Science.

Madden, C. C., & Netter, F. H. (2010). Netter’s sports medicine. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders/Elsevier.

Singh, Y. (2005). Sports psychology. New Delhi: Sports Publication.

Tod, D., Thatcher, J., & Rahman, R. (2010). Sport psychology. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Wallace, R. (2010). Sports camp. New York: Alfred A. Kno