The person body is comprised of 206 bones with various names. There’s your skull, or cranium. There’s her finger and also toe bones, or phalanges. There’s also your kneecap, or patella. However it transforms out, the bone we call the funny bone isn’t really a bone in ~ all.

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That’s what I discovered out indigenous my girlfriend Janessa Graves. She’s a researcher in ~ Washington State college who knows a lot around the person body and also studies injuries, like concussions in children.

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When friend hit your funny bone, you room actually hitting part of a whitish bundle that fibers called a nerve. Her nerves assist send message from various parts of your body come the brain. Just as skeleton have different names, so carry out nerves. The one we feel as soon as we hit our “funny bone” is the “ulnar nerve.”

Most nerves in the human body usually have actually some kind of protection. Regularly they space cushioned by muscle or bone. Yet the ulnar nerve is a small different. Component of her ulnar nerve travels v a channel in her arm called the cubital tunnel. This leaves component of the nerve roughly your elbow a bit much more exposed. That only safeguarded by a little bit of skin and fat.

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

“This compression creates a painful, shocking, burn or study abroad sensation the is nice unique,” tombs said. “It shoots all the way down come the tips of ours fingers, i m sorry is where the nerve ends.”

If you perform hit your ulnar nerve, you’ll most likely only feel those sensations for around 30 seconds or so. Also though it deserve to be a little painful, it no usually do much damages to the nerve. Graves adds the sometimes human being do hit their funny bone and that feeling doesn’t go away, so they need to see a medical professional to number out specifically what could be going on.

Either way, it no seem like lot of a laughing issue when girlfriend hit her funny bone. That made me wonder whereby it obtained its name. Tombs said there room a few ideas about it.

One idea is the it’s due to the fact that the ulnar nerve is next to a bone referred to as the humerus bone, which runs from her shoulder come the elbow. Some world think the funny bone acquired its name since humerus sounds prefer humorous—it’s a homonym, or a word the sounds like another word but has a different spelling.

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Another idea is the the sensation of hitting the nerve create a funny or unusual feeling in our arm, hand, and fingers. I don’t know around you, yet even though it is technically a nerve, ns think okay stick to the legacy of calling the the funny bone.