What Makes Human Hands So Special

 “What can be more curious than that the hand of a man, formed for grasping, that of a mole for digging, the leg of the horse, the paddle of the porpoise, and the wing of the bat, should all be constructed on the same pattern?”– Charles Darwin,Origin of Species

Bats have them.  So do cats, elephants and frogs.  What are we talking about?  Hands!  But human hands are set apart from the rest. The dexterity of human hands has long been believed to be what really sets us apart from the animals and lies behind our success as a species.

The Facts on Human Hands

  1. The thumb alone is controlled by nine separate muscles
  2. The hand has been used as a symbol of protection since ancient times
  3. The human hand is different to the hands or paws of other animals, because it has fingers and a thumb that can work together.
  4. Each finger has 3 bones and the thumb has two bones
  5. There are 17,000 touch receptors and free nerve endings found in the palm of human hands for passing on sensations of pressure, vibration and movement
  6. Scottish surgeon Sir Charles Bell wrote an entire book in 1833 praising human hands. It is called, The Hand:  Its Mechanism and Vital Endowments, as Evincing Design
  7. The hands of our nearest relatives, the apes, also have thumbs like ours
  8. The hand is quite vulnerable since bones, nerve fibers, blood vessels and tendons are only protected by a very thin layer of fat and muscle
  9. The muscles found in human hands are supplied by three nerves: the radial nerve, the median nerve and the ulnar nerve

Are you interested in learning about hand therapy, or would you like to schedule an appointment with one of our experience hand therapist? Contact us today!

  1. Only the palm is protected by a strong pad of tendons (aponeurosis) for a powerful grip
  2. The left and right hand are both controlled by the opposite hemisphere of the brain
  3. Approximately ¼ of our entire body’s bones are found in human hands
  4. The fingers on just one hand will be extended and flexed about 25 MILLION times over the course of one lifetime
  5. The skin on your fingertips are extra sensitive to touch
  6. Each finger is supplied by four bundles of nerves and blood vessels
  7. Fingers have no muscles
  8. The wrinkles found on the back of fingers are the mark of where the skin is attached to the tendon

Feeling any aches or pains in your hands? Show your hands some love and schedule an appointment with Desert Hand Therapy for therapeutic treatment and rehabilitation to restore optimal function in your hands.

Got a knuckle-cracking habit? You may want to stop before you crack.  Learn about knuckle-cracking risks and how to stop with these 3 easy steps to stop cracking knuckles.

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