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chowder
12-09-2006, 11:25 AM
Grab a hold of the skin on the outside of your elbow.

Tug,squeeze, pinch, twist it as hard as you can.

You won't feel a thing.

Why?

Qadgop the Mercotan
12-09-2006, 11:31 AM
Grab a hold of the skin on the outside of your elbow.

Tug,squeeze, pinch, twist it as hard as you can.

You won't feel a thing.

Why?
Maybe you don't feel a thing, but I certainly do. My sensorium is intact there to both light touch, cold, heat, and vibration.

Perhaps you should consult your doctor.

chowder
12-09-2006, 11:35 AM
Of course I meant you won't feel any pain/discomfort

zelie zelerton
12-09-2006, 11:47 AM
In the 2003 Body Awards it was voted 'Area of the Body Most Likely to get Accidentally Bashed and Cause Immediate Collapse with Screaming Pain' so they removed all pain-receptor duties and now it just does a little light stretching from time to time.

chowder
12-09-2006, 11:56 AM
In the 2003 Body Awards it was voted 'Area of the Body Most Likely to get Accidentally Bashed and Cause Immediate Collapse with Screaming Pain' so they removed all pain-receptor duties and now it just does a little light stretching from time to time.
Not all pain receptors were removed, hold a lighted match there, you'll find out

zelie zelerton
12-09-2006, 12:29 PM
They were. You are either totally wrong or you have defective elbow skin or something. ;)

Qadgop the Mercotan
12-09-2006, 12:44 PM
Of course I meant you won't feel any pain/discomfort
This certainly has not been my personal experience, nor my professional experience, having treated many, many elbow injuries, infections, and disease processes which manifest in that location.

Do you have a cite for people not feeling things at the elbow?

CC
12-09-2006, 12:52 PM
This certainly has not been my personal experience, nor my professional experience, having treated many, many elbow injuries, infections, and disease processes which manifest in that location.

Do you have a cite for people not feeling things at the elbow?

I am MOST surprised to discover that our resident medical expert is unaware of this phenomenon. Grab a pretty good pinch of skin and press it together. Almost all people are virtually unaware of the pressure and report feeling nothing. No cite is necessary - only some real-life experience. I understand that a lot of academics won't acknowledge the existence of something without the requisite citations, but you, Qadgop, I would have thought you'd escape that hubris. A whole lot of showing this to people, trying out on people, experiencing it with others, etc. is my citation. I've always figured that there are very few pressure receptors there because the skin keeps on being pressed up against the bone when the arm bends and they've either been eliminated through evolution or they've been deadened by extensive usage (less likely, I'd think). In any case, the OP is not asserting that there is no sensation there. Only that some stimuli are undetectable.

Qadgop the Mercotan
12-09-2006, 01:08 PM
No cite is necessary - only some real-life experience.
:rolleyes:

Again, not in my experience. The patients I've tested have reported sensation to filament pinprick and pressure testing there, unless they are far gone into a neuropathy.

And the person asserting a claim needs to back it up with evidence. The OP asserts it is true that no matter how hard you pinch, tug, squeeze, or twist the elbow skin, one doesn't feel a thing. But he provides no evidence for this claim.

Elbow skin tends to be thicker that some skin elsewhere, but not much. The same applies to the anterior of the knee. I've not noticed lack of pain sensation there, either.

Now, there are areas in the body where there are more receptors for pressure, temperature, etc. (such as the fingertips, face, tongue, genitals, lips) but I know of no research showing that the elbows are not supplied with normal amounts of sensory nerve fibers for a flexor-extensor surface.

The sensory homunculus model shows that the elbows are as well enervated with sensory nerve fibers as most of the rest of the body not devoted specifically to tactile exploration: http://gc.sfc.keio.ac.jp/class/2004_14453/slides/09/img/64.png

Here's another sensorium-mapping graphic (on the right) showing relative amounts of sensory nerve fibers devoted to various body parts: http://faculty.etsu.edu/currie/images/homunculus1.JPG

TimeWinder
12-09-2006, 01:34 PM
I feel it (a "pinch and twist"), and if I do it sufficiently, it hurts to the point that I stop. In the interests of science, I tried both elbows -- same result.

I will note that it's hard to DO on the elbow when your arm is bent because the skin's stretched pretty tight, but relax a little bit and I can grab a great hunk (too much -- need to lose a little) and twist it -- which then hurts and makes me want to stop. The pain is similar to my doing the same thing to other points on my body that don't have particularly high nerve densities, such as my side or thigh.

The phenomenon described by the OP is either not universal, or not sufficiently described.

Note that it's usually SMALL amounts of skin pinched or twisted that produce extreme pain -- that's very hard to accomplish on these parts of (my) body, just because of physical structure -- but if I persevere, I can hurt myself this way, too. My interest in science has been satisfied in this matter, in fact. I don't wish to do any more experiments on myself.

Alive At Both Ends
12-09-2006, 01:57 PM
I've just tried the experiment and I'm with chowder on this one. I find I have to pinch very hard to feel anything you could call "pain", and even then it's extremely mild, in fact "slight discomfort" would be a better description. I don't believe there is anything wrong with me neurologically, despite the suggestions that have been made by other posters. Maybe it's a genetic thing, like being able to curl your tongue.

Valgard
12-09-2006, 02:01 PM
I guess I'm a mutant too because I don't have much pain when I grab a hunk of skin on my straightened elbow and squeeze the bejeebers out of it. Years ago I was at a comedy club and the guy on stage mentioned this, he actually had me do a little audience participation and lock a pair of Vise Grips onto that hunk of skin and stand there, clamping pliers dangling from my arm. Didn't hurt at all.

Compare this with pinching skin on most other parts of my body - for example even a mild pinch on any spot of my arm and there's an "ouch" feeling.

I always assumed this was due to it being a place with a chunk of loose, thick skin that has to slide over a fairly wide range of motion. It's only tight against the bone when you flex your arm, the rest of the time it's just a hunk of epidermis, no muscle right underneath or anything. Maybe that lack of stuff underneath has something to do with it?

Now that I'm poking and prodding myself I find that the second knuckle of my fingers is pretty similar (that is, the first knuckle after your finger seperates from your hand). If I straighten out my fingers, the skin on top is loose and I can pinch and twist it pretty hard with no discomfort.

outlierrn
12-09-2006, 02:24 PM
well I fell pinching my forearm skin far more acutely than my elbow skin, I wonder if it has anything to do with how many times a person skins their elbows, or knees for that matter, as a kid. I would hazard the guess that the concentration of pain and pressure receptors on my elbow is less than my forearm, YMMV

Dr_Paprika
12-09-2006, 03:24 PM
Straighten your arm. Feel your elbow. The skin at the elbow is relatively loose and easy to pinch and move.

Bend your elbow to ninety degrees. The skin at the elobow is tighter and harder to pinch.

Like Qadgop, I see many painful elbow injuries. It hurts to cut your elbow, and a dislocated elbow is extremely painful.

But if pain is a signal that something is wrong, it is easy for me to believe that there would be little benefit for you to feel discomfort whenever you bend you elbow. I'd be willing to believe that the receptors at the elbow are fewer than at many other parts of the arm. But "you won't feel a thing"? C'mon.

picunurse
12-09-2006, 04:04 PM
I'm with the other medicos. Having driven my left elbow through the driver's side window of a van, I have personal, as well as, professional experience that the elbow is NOT a pain free zone.

What might be decreasing your pain sense on your elbow, may be dry skin. You may need to exfoliate the area for full feeling to return.

Pushkin
12-09-2006, 04:24 PM
I don't get it :confused: The skin elsewhere on my arm is as sensitive, to a fork or a pinch (discreetly tested just seconds ago) what fact is on trial here?

Chew Barker
12-09-2006, 04:29 PM
Tug,squeeze, pinch, twist it as hard as you can.

You won't feel a thing.



I agree, I cannot use my own body or even poking the outstretched skin with scissors to cause enough pain to make me stop.

If I nip, twist or scissor poke else where I can make it hurt.

Dunno why tho.

Revtim
12-09-2006, 04:33 PM
I can pinch my elbow skin with all my strength, with no pain whatsoever.

Kat
12-09-2006, 04:59 PM
Ouch! That hurt. You lied to me!

CC
12-09-2006, 05:22 PM
Let's check it out. Let's see who, in addition to the few who have weighed in here, can or cannot feel a pinch in that place. Note - a lot of people say they've injured their elbows. Yes, we all have. That's not the point. The point - and I'm modifying JUST slightly - is that if you grab a certain amount of loose elbow skin and pinch - you won't feel anything. But, here's my deal - I think we need to describe very well what we mean by grab and pinch. My definition: When I look at the pinch from the side, I'm grabbing enough skin to come down to about the bottom of my thumbnail. I don't pinch with the tip of my finger and the tip of my thumb, but rather press both "sides" of that flap of skin together with thumb and forefinger. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Now, it may be that some people have it and some don't - but I'd find that fascinating if it were true.
And, of course, if I pinch with just the tips of the finger and thumb, or use my nails, it will hurth plenty.
Grassroots science. Whoo hoo.

CC
12-09-2006, 05:46 PM
Or, it could hurt.

Revtim
12-09-2006, 06:22 PM
Ouch! That hurt. You lied to me!Heh, gotcha.

BrandonR
12-09-2006, 07:04 PM
With my arm extended, I can grab a sizable flap of skin and pinch it rather hard and while can feel the touch, I don't feel pain. I do feel pain if I grab a flap of skin and pinch it in the same manner most other places in the body.

Oddly enough, I can do this pinching below my elbow for a majority of my lower arm and no pain. Above the elbow, pain when pinching. Weird?

Mangetout
12-09-2006, 07:20 PM
I can pinch my elbow skin with all my strength, with no pain whatsoever.The plural of anecdote is not data. Therefore you must simply be wrong.





(I can pinch the loose skin on my elbow quite hard without any discomfort; a similar pinch to the loose skin in other places, such as my knee, is painful)

Otto
12-09-2006, 07:43 PM
I am enchanted by the mental picture of people all over the world pinching, prodding and poking their elbows with various implements and then dashing to the computer to post the results.

Valgard
12-09-2006, 07:58 PM
I am enchanted by the mental picture of people all over the world pinching, prodding and poking their elbows with various implements and then dashing to the computer to post the results.

To heck with the mental picture - if there's a simple way to post a photo here I'll repeat the ViceGrip stunt.

marshmallow
12-09-2006, 08:02 PM
Doesn't hurt me, either. We're just talking about the skin, though. I think what is confusing people is that bumping the underlying bone definitely does hurt. One of the most painful moments ever for me was when I fell like a klutz and hyperextended* my elbow.

I can't really think of anywhere else on my body that has enough floppy skin to try...except maybe my ear lobe, but that hurts more. And I'm not going below the belt for the other example...

* Well, there was some medical jargon that led me to believe this may not be technically correct because it involved a small chip in the bone, but let's just say it bent in a way it shouldn't :D

Tangent
12-09-2006, 08:18 PM
No pain for me when I pinch my elbow skin. I can feel a slight tightening sensation from drawing the skin into the pinch, so I wouldn't say I feel nothing--but there is no pain even when I pinch as hard as I can.

Guinastasia
12-09-2006, 08:40 PM
Maybe the skin there is just really tough? I felt a little bit, but it didn't hurt that bad.

Hitting your elbow against something, however, hurts like hell.

Anaamika
12-09-2006, 09:29 PM
I thought the question was why is elbow skin so ugly? but I also feel very little pain with the pinch properly executed.

black rabbit
12-09-2006, 10:34 PM
I am enchanted by the mental picture of people all over the world pinching, prodding and poking their elbows with various implements...

...with needle-nose pliers, even.

For the record, it doesn't hurt.

However, thanks to the cold weather and dry air, my other elbow is slightly chapped, and I can sure as hell feel that.

Rysdad
12-09-2006, 10:48 PM
Pinched and squeezed hard- barely any sensation.
Pinching and twisting, I felt.
Ain't about to try sharp objects.

Heh.

I'd be funny if, tomorrow, all over the world, doctors reported the odd phenomenon of people showing up with bruised and tender elbows.

"Cecil's Elbow"

Princhester
12-09-2006, 11:00 PM
I think the OP overstated his proposition and that is what has caused the disjunct between the reports of dopers in this thread and the doper medicos' opinions. It is certainly true that you can do things to the skin of your elbow that hurt. Just ask a cyclist who has come off a few times, like, say, me. But it is certainly true for me and seemingly many other dopers that there is significantly less pain when you pinch a flap of skin on your elbow compared to other places.

CC
12-09-2006, 11:20 PM
Qed

lokij
12-10-2006, 03:18 AM
So I'm thinking that skin, in general, isn't really very sensitive to pressure type pain. What causes pain in pinch, pull or puncture injuries is what's underneath the skin. The elbow is one of the few places on my body where I can pull enough skin to pinch without there also being significant flesh carried along with the skin. Being a male I can tell you that the skin on my scrotum is also pretty immune to most kinds of pain, I can pinch most of it, pull it quite a bit and if I did poke just the skin with a sharp impliment it wouldn't be that sensitive. Same goes for the skin on my kneecaps, the web between my thumb and forefinger.. and... really that's about all that fits the bill. Muscle seems to be alot more sensitive to puncture than fat, I have to give myself a weekly injection and doing it on my stomach is MUCH easier than trying my upper thighs, which are not so padded. So I agree that elbow skin isn't very sensitive but I would be that most of your actual skin isn't either, it's what is right below that skin that matters.

chowder
12-10-2006, 04:00 AM
Well I guess that the vast majority of us can't feel any pain or discomfort when pinching the skin. There are of course the awkward mutants out there :D.

I quite agree that banging your elbow sure does hurt, but it was the skin of the elbow I was referring to.

As cc says in post 20, if you grab an amount of elbow skin and pinch you won't feel any pain but just pinch a teensy bit with your nails and you will.

So Qadgop why is this?

Richard Pearse
12-10-2006, 05:36 AM
Count me in as another relatively painless elbow pincher.

Hey it works for your scrotum too!

chowder
12-10-2006, 05:52 AM
Count me in as another relatively painless elbow pincher.

Hey it works for your scrotum too!
Bastard hell!!!

Not for me it doesn't :eek:






fuck me that hurt

Sage Rat
12-10-2006, 07:20 AM
My elbow skin don't care much about being pinched.

I am however of a sufficient presence of mind not to test my scrotum.... :dubious:

Richard Pearse
12-10-2006, 08:03 AM
Bastard hell!!!

Not for me it doesn't :eek:






fuck me that hurt

:d
You didn't think I was serious did you?

Richard Pearse
12-10-2006, 08:10 AM
Again with the smiley :D (I like that one.)

elbows
12-10-2006, 11:04 AM
Well I just want to say I have been called a lot of things in my life, but, insensitive? :(

Unfeeling? :( Toughskinned? :(

I just don't feel I deserve this kind of treatment. :mad:




I swear you are getting on my last nerve, if one more person grabs me and pinches me I cannot be responsible for me actions. ;)

chowder
12-10-2006, 11:40 AM
:d
You didn't think I was serious did you?
You didn't think I was did you?










I was but I'm damned if i'm gonna admit it

snailboy
12-10-2006, 02:36 PM
No pain here, at the elbow or scrotum. In fact, I usually scratch my scrotum by pinching and rolling my fingers. How else are you supposed to scratch it without squishing the testes? Same for penis skin.

I note that places where I seem to pinch fat with the skin (such as the abdomen and knees) are only a little more discomforting, while more muscular areas (the forearms and biceps) hurt significantly. So I'll also guess that it has to do with what's under the skin.

Quiddity Glomfuster
12-10-2006, 05:54 PM
Another painless pincher here (though I'm scrotum-free so can't speak to that area) but when I use nails it hurts a bit. I did take a small pair of scissors out of my desk and just touched the tip of one blade to the skin and there was the promise of pain if I continued. (so I didn't).

I suspect the body long ago decided that bits of you that have to deal with pressure will not be sensitive to pressure else every time you leaned on something with the elbow or bottom-of-forearm skin you'd bruise/hurt. They'll still hurt when cut because cutting's not good for you but leaning or pressing on certain bits isn't likely to forewarn of serious injury to come so I guess the body decided no pain sentinel is necessary for those uses.

I suppose if some people still have the pain sensors there's an explanation but I'm guessing even they don't bruise every time they lean on something.

Imasquare
12-10-2006, 06:38 PM
Grab a hold of the skin on the outside of your elbow.

Tug,squeeze, pinch, twist it as hard as you can.

You won't feel a thing.

Why?Very interesting. I just tried this - I only felt pain if I pinched with my fingernails.

Asimovian
12-10-2006, 08:12 PM
One more vote for being able to pinch both elbow and scrotum skin without pain. Although the scrotum skin analysis is based on prior experience. I just couldn't bring myself to say that I'd pinched my scrotum to fight ignorance. :)

Frylock
12-10-2006, 08:20 PM
:rolleyes:

Again, not in my experience. The patients I've tested have reported sensation to filament pinprick and pressure testing there, unless they are far gone into a neuropathy.

And the person asserting a claim needs to back it up with evidence. The OP asserts it is true that no matter how hard you pinch, tug, squeeze, or twist the elbow skin, one doesn't feel a thing. But he provides no evidence for this claim.

Elbow skin tends to be thicker that some skin elsewhere, but not much. The same applies to the anterior of the knee. I've not noticed lack of pain sensation there, either.

Now, there are areas in the body where there are more receptors for pressure, temperature, etc. (such as the fingertips, face, tongue, genitals, lips) but I know of no research showing that the elbows are not supplied with normal amounts of sensory nerve fibers for a flexor-extensor surface.

The sensory homunculus model shows that the elbows are as well enervated with sensory nerve fibers as most of the rest of the body not devoted specifically to tactile exploration: http://gc.sfc.keio.ac.jp/class/2004_14453/slides/09/img/64.png

Here's another sensorium-mapping graphic (on the right) showing relative amounts of sensory nerve fibers devoted to various body parts: http://faculty.etsu.edu/currie/images/homunculus1.JPG
This is weird.

I know that it doesn't hurt when you pinch your elbow, and everybody I know knows this. But are you telling me medical science doesn't recognize this? And are you saying that there is no difference between the concentration of nerves of various types in the elbow on the one hand and the concentration over the rest of my arm?

This is freakin' me out.

-Kris

Kat
12-10-2006, 08:40 PM
As cc says in post 20, if you grab an amount of elbow skin and pinch you won't feel any pain but just pinch a teensy bit with your nails and you will.

Ah, that explains it. I pinched with my nails. My nails are really too long to not pinch with my nails.

Captain Carrot
12-10-2006, 09:49 PM
I feel some pain there, but I think it's not so much that there are fewer nerves or receptors there as that skin on joints less frequently covered by clothing becomes tougher. The skin on my knees and elbows is significantly less sensitive than that on my shoulders or toes.

Valgard
12-11-2006, 12:38 AM
For completeness' sake can somebody pinch their scrotum with their elbow and tell us if it hurts?

Klaatu
12-11-2006, 02:13 AM
Yeah, when I extend my arm and pinch the elbow skin, it's nothing compared to pinching up or down the arm. Another data point. I can't believe you medical types don't feel this.

I don't mean pinching the hell out of it, but there is definitely a difference.

chowder
12-11-2006, 02:45 AM
This certainly has not been my personal experience, nor my professional experience, having treated many, many elbow injuries, infections, and disease processes which manifest in that location.

Do you have a cite for people not feeling things at the elbow? I don't think a cite is neccessary or required as quite a few posters have reported no pain when elbow skin pinching.

Indeed some have said that no pain is felt when pinching the scrote, I have to admit I'm not one of them.

So Qadgop can you tell us all why the absence of pain

zoogirl
12-11-2006, 02:55 AM
I can feel a pinch but it doesn't hurt. That only goes for a small area though. I can verify that a cockatoo bite just above the area hurts like hell!

Tibby
12-11-2006, 04:11 AM
Where’s the science?

Pinching your own elbow skin in order to measure pain sensitivity is hardly a scientific approach to a medical study. For the purpose of fighting biological ignorance, I’ve crafted the following double blind study that will definitively put to rest the question of variable pain sensitivity v. human epidermal loci.

Subjects (2): 1920s Style “Death Ray” and chowder: Each taking turns as “tester” and “testee”.

Pain Response: The testee will respond to painful stimuli by the vocalization, “oh”.

Response Quantification: Soundwave amplitude and frequency measured using a sophisticated decibilometer.

Pain Scale: Minimal Pain Response = “oh”; Maximum Pain Response = “OOOH” “OOOOH” “OOOOH”.

Morphological Comparison Sites: 1) Skin of Elbow vs. Skin of Forearm 2) Skin of Scrotum vs. Skin of Penis.

Stimuli Types: The following manual forces will be applied on testee by tester: Pinch, Pull, Rub, Twist, stroke.

Implementation: Subjects enter room, disrobe and face each other. Reduce ambient stimuli and calm subjects by dimming room lights and giving subjects a CNS depressant (i.e. copious amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon). Death Ray (as the first tester), places blindfold on chowder, engages the decibolometer and proceeds to apply the various manual stimuli on chowders testable body parts. Take measurements and jot down in a little black book. Tester and testee switch positions and new measurements are taken. Upon study completion, subjects may be given a cigarette and encouraged to exchange phone numbers. Post results on the SDMB. :)

Princhester
12-11-2006, 05:37 AM
Nah. No blinding. Subjects awareness of expected responses and locus of stimulation invalidate experiment.

Eleusis
12-11-2006, 05:59 AM
"So Qadgop can you tell us all why the absence of pain?"


IANOD. (I am not our doctor ; but, uh...)

Duh.

It's called nerve endings.

There aren't very many in your elbow.

Eleusis
12-11-2006, 06:03 AM
"So Qadgop can you tell us all why the absence of pain?"


IANOD. (I am not our doctor ; but, uh...)

Duh.

It's called nerve endings.

There aren't very many in your elbow.
However, I have found through numerous scientific studies that one CAN, actually through mere will alone, FEEL UP A GIRL WITH NOTHING BUT AN ELBOW.


I know it's scientifically out there, but I can assure you, it's true.

chowder
12-11-2006, 06:25 AM
Results of test proposed by Dr.PoopiePants.

Tester: Pinches/pulls/rubs/twists Testees elbow skin
Testee: Shrugs
Tester: Pinchers / pulls/rubs/twists Testees forearm
Testee: Makes mild sound of annoyance
Tester: Pinches/pulls/rubs/twists Testees scrotum
Testee: Says "Do that again pal and you're a dead 'un."
Tester: Pinches/pulls/rubs/twists Testees penis skin
Testee: Smacks tester in chops and then screams in agony

Mangetout
12-11-2006, 06:30 AM
However, I have found through numerous scientific studies that one CAN, actually through mere will alone, FEEL UP A GIRL WITH NOTHING BUT AN ELBOW.I'm pretty sure Channel 5 had a documentary called The Girl Who Had Nothing But An Elbow.

Eleusis
12-11-2006, 06:45 AM
I'm pretty sure Channel 5 had a documentary called The Girl Who Had Nothing But An Elbow.
Well..... yeah.... <stammer>....

It's a lot easier to feel up a girl if she has no TAYYTAYYSSS@#$@#$@#



WOOOOOOO

Kalhoun
12-11-2006, 06:52 AM
This certainly has not been my personal experience, nor my professional experience, having treated many, many elbow injuries, infections, and disease processes which manifest in that location.

Do you have a cite for people not feeling things at the elbow?
I can pinch the skin on my elbows as hard as I can and not feel pain. If I bang it, it hurts like a muthah, but I think it's designed that way so you can use your elbows to prop yourself up (for cereal box reading, of course) without feeling pain.

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