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What is the funny bone?

The funny bone is not actually a bone. It is the ulnar nerve, which runs the length of the arm. Near the elbow, the ulnar nerve is very superficial, meaning it is close to the surface of the skin.

(This answer provided for NATA by the Gustavus Adolphus College Athletic Training Education Program.)
Your funny bone actually isn't a bone at all. The ulnar nerve runs from your neck to your hand and courses against the bone in your upper arm called the humerus. At the elbow, the nerve is less protected by muscle, fat and skin, and can be easily bumped.

The ulnar nerve lets your brain know about feelings in your fourth and fifth fingers and controls some movement of your hand. When something presses or strikes this nerve, it sends a "pins and needles" feeling through your arm, which some describe as a "funny" sensation.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.