The “funny bone” is a colloquial term for the ulnar nerve, which is a large nerve that runs down the arm and into the hand. The ulnar nerve is responsible for providing sensation to the skin of the hand and fingers, as well as for controlling movement in the muscles of the hand and fingers. The ulnar nerve is called the “funny bone” because it is located near the elbow and is often stimulated or irritated when the elbow is bumped or struck, causing a sensation of tingling or numbness that is sometimes described as “funny” or “weird.”
The ulnar nerve is located on the inner side of the elbow, near the “hump” of the elbow joint. It runs down the arm and into the hand through a bony tunnel called the ulnar canal, which is located on the inner side of the elbow. When the elbow is bumped or struck, the ulnar nerve can become compressed or irritated, causing a sensation of tingling or numbness in the hand and fingers. This sensation is often described as a “funny bone” sensation because it is often unexpected and can be somewhat disconcerting.
The ulnar nerve can also be injured or damaged in other ways, such as through repetitive strain or overuse, or through direct trauma to the elbow. In these cases, the sensation of tingling or numbness may be more persistent and may be accompanied by other symptoms, such as weakness or difficulty moving the hand or fingers.
If you experience a “funny bone” sensation or other symptoms of ulnar nerve irritation or injury, it is important to seek medical attention. A healthcare professional can assess the cause of the symptoms and recommend treatment options, which may include rest, physical therapy, or surgery in more severe cases.