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The Human Body’s Quirks: From Your Ears to Your Feet

Sugar land, TX

The human body has many quirks, but there’s a reason for everything. The science is astonishing, from your ears all the way to your feet. Lets see if you know the why behind these.

When an airplane is going up or going down, have you experienced a tingling feeling in your ears? (A word of advice- after you get off the plane, close your nose and try to sneeze). Have you ever wondered why your ears pop?

Ear barotrauma is when the pressure in your eardrum changes. Maybe you get pain in your ears, loss of hearing, muffled hearing, or dizziness. The ear-popping sensation is your body evening out the pressure in your ear. It may gradually get better or go back to normal right after they are popped. The Eustachian tube is the tube in your ear that lets airflow go to the eardrum. The airflow helps make equal pressure. Your ears pop when the change in pressure is sudden and quick. The good part is that despite how weird it may feel, popping ears are nothing to worry about- it’s absolutely harmless.

That tingly popping feeling that makes your ears feel a bit unbalanced is just the start of the human body’s quirks. That constant popping noise! Maybe it’s your stress reliever or the exasperating background noise you can’t stand. Knuckle cracking is typical for some- a habit they’ve developed or a way to deal with nervousness or tension. For others, it’s just an annoying thing that people keep doing. How does stretching fingers in that way cause that familiar popping sound? Is it harmful in any way?

The knuckle cracking or popping is produced by increasing the space between your finger joints, causing gas bubbles in the joint fluid to collapse or burst. It’s like blowing up a balloon and then popping it. POP! Try it out! Now try to crack the same knuckle twice in a row. You can’t do it because it takes some time for the gas bubbles to collect in the joint once more.

If it’s your first time trying it after reading this, don’t worry because the facts got your back. It’s mostly harmless, despite the one or two reports of injuries from too much cracking. Injuries like these aren’t frequent.

We know it’s harmless based on lots of evidence. A California physician experimented on himself. He cracked the knuckles of one of his hands throughout his life, studied his x-rays. He didn’t find any change in arthritis in his hands. Many other studies found the same conclusion. However, some uncommon problems may be because of the force applied and how one cracks their knuckles. Joint dislocations and tendon injuries have been described after attempts to crack knuckles. A 1990 study saw that people who popped their knuckles had smaller grip strength. Plus, hand swelling was more common for them than others who didn’t pop their knuckles. There were no signs of arthritis.

Moving on to our feet quirks, I am sure everyone has experienced this.When I sit in the same position for too long or sit on my foot for too long, my foot tingles, or ‘falls asleep.’ Then I hop around, shaking my foot, waking it up. I’m sure that we’ve all been there and done that, but why does it happen?

The nerves in your hand or foot are temporarily compressed. These nerves would be unable to send messages back to the brain. The connection is broken. Think about it like you’re chatting with a friend, but the call is breaking up because of bad wifi- so annoying! Since the connection is cut off, you don’t really feel anything in the area; you can’t hear your friend. Don’t worry- it’s not like your brain is permanently disconnected. The wifi will get better soon! It’s not harmful, the connection comes back easily. You’ll most likely feel all tingly, and it might just hurt. Patience is key; it just takes a minute to shake that connection back into place.

To conclude, the human body has many interesting quirks, from your popping ears to your cracking knuckles to your sleepy feet. Next time you’re on an airplane, or popping your knuckles, or waking up your feet, remember the amazing science behind all of these everyday things. Are you feet asleep by now?

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