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Your funny bone!
We all know that weird feeling you get when you hit just the right spot around your elbow–that tingling, dull pain that makes you grit your teeth and jump around a bit saying, “Owwwww!” It really doesn’t hurt so much as it feels funny, hence the nickname!
But why can’t you break your funny bone? Well, that’s because it’s not a bone at all!
Your funny bone is actually a nerve called the ulnar nerve. Its purpose is to control some movement in your hand and to send signals to your brain about feelings in your ring and pinky fingers. The nerve runs down your elbow, which is probably why people originally thought it was a bone.
When you trigger that funny bone feeling, the ulnar nerve gets bumped against your humerus, which is the long bone that goes from your shoulder to your elbow. Your nerves are what carry signals of feeling to your brain, so when the ulnar nerve taps the humerus, it certainly feels funny!
Taking a small hit on your funny bone won’t do any damage, so the next time it happens, be sure to do the ouch dance and thank your ulnar nerve for that funny sensation!