Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Elbow FAQ

Question:

Why does it hurt so much when I hit my funny bone. It's not even a bone, is it?

Answer:

Hitting your funny bone can cause a very unpleasant sensation. Some people feel pain, others feel an uncomfortable tingling from the elbow down. You're right, the funny bone isn't a bone, but a spot where your ulnar nerve is exposed in the elbow. The ulnar nerve reaches from your collar bone down your arm, passing through your elbow. When you hit the little nook in your elbow, you actually hit the nerve which is then compressed and reacts, causing the pain or unpleasant sensation. Kevin C. Chung, MD. Treatment of Ulnar Nerve Compression at the Elbow. In The Journal of Hand Surgery. November 2008. Vol. 33. No. 9. Pp. 1625-1628.

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