4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

When I put Icy Hot on my hand, I can only feel the effect on the top part of my hand. Why?

Hey, Matt:

I put Icy Hot on my hand the other day because my thumb was hurting. Unfortunately I was nearly struck mute with astonishment when I found that I could feel the "icy yet hot" sensation on the top of my hand but not on the palm side at the base of my thumb. Why is this? I thought that the palms and fingertips were MORE sensitive.

-- Jeremy Barwick, Spring Valley

Well, I guess you thought wrong, bubba. But hey, the situation's epidemic. "Common knowledge" is one of those viruses you don't hear much about but is known to be the cause of most human suffering. True, true, our fingertips are loaded with nerve endings that enable us to make fine discriminations and manipulations. But your palm is designed for heavy-duty tasks -- whapping vending machines to get your change back, stuff like that. If fingertips are among the most sensitive body parts, palms are among the least sensitive (along with our backs). Fewer sensory nerve endings in your palm and at the base of your thumb. Icy Hot and other hot/cold balms work by stimulating our head and cold receptors, creating a counterirritant that takes our minds off the pain of the injury. So I guess putting the stuff on the base of your thumb wasn't such a hot/cool idea.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Padres player scandals, city council caves to John Moores, farm manager Russ Nixon tells history

1995 season-long strike, handicapped fans tell how it is for them, who really owns the team?
Next Article

Why sharks have moved to San Diego

Avoid murky water, travel in groups, aim your board at aggressor

Hey, Matt:

I put Icy Hot on my hand the other day because my thumb was hurting. Unfortunately I was nearly struck mute with astonishment when I found that I could feel the "icy yet hot" sensation on the top of my hand but not on the palm side at the base of my thumb. Why is this? I thought that the palms and fingertips were MORE sensitive.

-- Jeremy Barwick, Spring Valley

Well, I guess you thought wrong, bubba. But hey, the situation's epidemic. "Common knowledge" is one of those viruses you don't hear much about but is known to be the cause of most human suffering. True, true, our fingertips are loaded with nerve endings that enable us to make fine discriminations and manipulations. But your palm is designed for heavy-duty tasks -- whapping vending machines to get your change back, stuff like that. If fingertips are among the most sensitive body parts, palms are among the least sensitive (along with our backs). Fewer sensory nerve endings in your palm and at the base of your thumb. Icy Hot and other hot/cold balms work by stimulating our head and cold receptors, creating a counterirritant that takes our minds off the pain of the injury. So I guess putting the stuff on the base of your thumb wasn't such a hot/cool idea.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

“6-Feet Supper Club” brings live music back to Panama 66

“We decided to do everything with caution.”
Next Article

SCTV: the Rick Moranis years

“Back then, we were doing Bob and Doug McKenzie essentially as filler. We had no idea at all that anyone liked it.”
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close