Striking the "funny bone" is a sensation most people have experienced, as is the tingling or numbness that occurs when one's hand falls "asleep." The ulnar nerve is usually the culprit in both situations. One of the three large nerves running from the neck down to the hand, wrist, and fingers, the ulnar nerve is named for its close proximity to the ulna bone in the forearm.


1. Anatomy of the Ulnar Nerve

The ulnar nerve is a branch of a larger network called the brachial plexus. The nerve separates from the brachial plexus to travel down the shoulder, into the arm. The ulnar nerve passes through the cubital tunnel, a hollow tunnel of tissue, on the inside of the elbow. The tunnel is behind and underneath the medial epicondyle of the humorous, commonly known as the "funny bone."

hand, ulnar nerve, elbow solar22 / Getty Images


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