The person body is comprised of 206 skeletal with various names. There’s your skull, or cranium. There’s her finger and also toe bones, or phalanges. There’s additionally your kneecap, or patella. But it turns out, the bone we contact the funny bone isn’t yes, really a bone at all.

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That’s what I discovered out native my friend Janessa Graves. She’s a researcher at Washington State university who knows a lot about the human being body and studies injuries, prefer concussions in children.

When you hit her funny bone, you space actually hitting part of a whitish bundle of fibers dubbed a nerve. Your nerves assist send message from various parts of her body to the brain. Simply as skeletal have different names, so do nerves. The one us feel when we hit ours “funny bone” is the “ulnar nerve.”

Most nerves in the body usually have some sort of protection. Often they room cushioned by muscle or bone. However the ulnar nerve is a small different. Part of your ulnar nerve travels with a channel in your arm referred to as the cubital tunnel. This leaves component of the nerve approximately your elbow a bit more exposed. That only defended by a little of skin and fat.

When us hit our elbow just right on a corner or difficult surface, the nerve it s okay squished, or compressed.

“This compression creates a painful, shocking, burning or study abroad sensation the is quite unique,” tombs said. “It shoots all the means down to the tips of our fingers, i beg your pardon is where the nerve ends.”

If you execute hit her ulnar nerve, you’ll most likely only feel those emotion for around 30 seconds or so. Also though it can be a little painful, it no usually execute much damage to the nerve. Graves adds that sometimes human being do hit your funny bone and that emotion doesn’t walk away, therefore they need to see a physician to figure out precisely what can be walking on.

Either way, it doesn’t seem like much of a laughing matter when friend hit your funny bone. That made me wonder whereby it obtained its name. Graves said there are a couple of ideas around it.

One idea is that it’s since the ulnar nerve is next to a bone called the humerus bone, which runs from your shoulder come the elbow. Some human being think the funny bone acquired its name due to the fact that humerus sounds choose humorous—it’s a homonym, or a word that sounds like an additional word however has a various spelling.

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Another idea is that the sensation of hitting the nerve creates a funny or unexplained feeling in ours arm, hand, and also fingers. Ns don’t know about you, but even though it is technically a nerve, i think okay stick come the tradition of calling that the funny bone.