There are a couple of things about our bodies that, in one means or another, deserve to be considered funny.

You are watching: Why do they call it the funny bone

Hearing who laugh have the right to make girlfriend laugh. The comical sounds that sometimes come together with passing gas are funny. Someone gift compelled to yawn after you yawn is type of funny.

But what is basically never funny is her funny bone — regardless of the reality that we"ve determined to coin it as such. We"ve all skilled the tingling, jolting pain that comes with hitting your funny bone. It"s a various sort the pain, to it is in sure, yet not pains that any of us would consider funny.

And speaking of a various sort the pain, why walk hitting your elbow "just hit therefore different?" virtually like your entire arm has been plunged right into ice water and also then electrocuted?

Funnily enough, obtaining to the bottom that this strange, unpleasant sensation end up being simpler to recognize than make the efforts to number out why your funny bone is even dubbed your funny bone in the very first place.

Where is your funny bone?

Funny you have to ask.

It transforms out that your funny bone isn"t a bone. It"s in reality a nerve — one that starts in her spine and also travels from her neck, with your elbow and also to your fingers (your pinky and also ring fingers, to be exact). It"s called the ulnar nerve. As one of the three major nerves in your arm, the main duty of her ulnar nerve is to carry out sensation in these fingertips, also as help the muscle in her hand name: coordinates fine movement and the muscle in your forearm regulate your grip.

Along its trip from your spine to your fingers, her ulnar nerve is quite well defended by muscle, fat and also bone. Yet there"s one point out at her elbow wherein this nerve is unusually exposed, and also that point out is dubbed your funny bone.

At this allude in her arm, your ulnar nerve passes v your cubital tunnel, which runs underneath the little bony bump (called the medial epicondyle) ~ above the inside of the back of her elbow. Feel around, you deserve to probably find it.


It"s in ~ this spot that your ulnar nerve is specifically vulnerable, specifically when your elbow is and also bent and the nerve is safeguarded by only a tiny layer of skin.

Why walk hitting her "funny bone" ache different?

Now that you know your funny bone isn"t actually a bone — it"s a vulnerable section of a major nerve running with your arm — it"s more than likely a little easier to know why hitting that in a certain means causes pain. When you hit her funny bone at simply the appropriate angle, you"re basically squashing it right into your medial epicondyle bone. Ouch.

But why this pain hits so different is interesting, too.

All sensations of pain space mediated by nerves, yet there"s a difference in between the perception of pains (nociceptive pain) and actual nerve pain.

When you stub her toe, slam your finger in a door or smack her head, irritation and damage come your tissue triggers the surrounding nerves to coordinate nociceptive pain. These nerves inform your brain you"re in ache — cue those sharp or throbbing sensations. Ethical of the story: avoid doing the thing you"re doing, it"s leading to damage.

Nerve ache is a little bit different. The ache is still coordinated by a nerve, however the wake up or damages is developing directly to the nerve itself. In addition, the pain feels different — much more electric, burn or stinging.

In the situation of hitting your funny bone, squashing your ulnar nerve into your medial epicondyle bone is irritating. And also you feeling this nerve pain in the locations where your ulnar nerve provides sensation, bring about an unpleasant, shocking sensation shooting under your forearm and into your fingers.

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Fortunately, the pain the comes through hitting your funny bone is temporary. As soon as you shake points off, it"s choose nothing ever before happened. No ice load or bandaid needed.