Why does putting your elbow in ice water make your hand hurt?

It’s for Biology class.

I put my elbow in ice water for two minutes and my hand started to hurt. Why is that?

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  1. fuzzymime, 04 September, 2009

    Because of all of the blood vessels and nerves that travel through your arm.

    The sudden temperature change plays havoc with the blood and nerves. Besides, it’s ice water. Water that cold, if you were submerged completely in it (like in a frozen lake or something), would kill you in a matter of minutes. The hurting is also a warning, not that you’re going to die, but rather your arm and hand is saying, "Hey! Some thing’s not right, maybe you ought to check out why?"

  2. siiri_luukin, 04 September, 2009

    Your arm nerves run along your elbow and down to your hand, and are very close to the surface of the skin in your elbow, so the cold water stimulates them and goes down to your hand.

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