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Foot Care for Arthritis Tips

Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints. When our joints become inflamed, it can cause pain, tenderness, swelling, and stiffness.

Arthritis in the feet and ankles can be especially painful and bothersome, affecting how we walk and function on a daily basis. While there are many different types of arthritis, there are three types that most often cause foot and ankle pain.

These types of arthritis are osteoarthritis (known as just “arthritis,” or wear-and-tear/aging arthritis), rheumatoid arthritis (an autoimmune disease), and post-traumatic arthritis (caused by an injury or fracture).

How Arthritis Affects the Feet and Ankles

Our feet each have more than 30 joints – many of them are tiny. The joints in our feet that are most commonly affected by arthritis are:

  • The joint where the ankle and shin bone meet
  • The joint where the big toe meets the foot bone
  • The joints connecting to the heel bone, inner mid-foot bone, and outer mid-foot bone

Symptoms of foot and ankle arthritis can include trouble walking or weight-bearing.

Ways to Care for Your Feet

If you’ve been diagnosed with foot and ankle arthritis, there are several treatment options available. Let’s talk about these different options and what they entail.

Nonsurgical Treatment Options for Foot Arthritis

Your doctor may try several things before deciding on surgery. Nonsurgical treatment options include:

  • Steroids injected into the joint
  • Anti-inflammatories and pain relievers
  • Physical therapy
  • Weight control
  • Joint-supporting canes
  • Foot/ankle braces
  • Arch supports
  • Orthotics

Your physician may even recommend a combination of those treatments to see what works best for you.

Custom Shoes

Perhaps the most important way to care for your feet and ankles if you have arthritis is to wear shoes that are comfortable, supportive, and properly sized for your feet. When searching, you should ensure that the shoes you buy:

  • Have good heel counter and arch support
  • Have extra cushioning in the mid-soles and outer-soles
  • Have nonslip outsoles
  • Are flexible
  • Can be worn with padded socks (without feeling too tight)
  • Have rubber soles
  • Are shaped like your feet
  • Are not slip-ons or high heels 

Exercise

If you’re suffering from foot and ankle osteoarthritis, the last thing you may want to hear is that you should exercise. However, believe it or not, exercise can help relieve pain in your feet.

Exercise can also help keep your feet and ankles strong and flexible. Your orthopedist or physical therapist can show you exercises that can help with your foot and ankle arthritis, such as big-toe stretches, toe pulls, toe curls, and Achilles stretches.

Self-Care

When it comes to your body, no one knows it better than you do. As such, there are self-care steps you can do to help keep your feet healthy in order to control your foot and ankle arthritis, including:

  • Daily foot inspections
  • Daily foot washes with lukewarm water (be sure to completely dry off your feet afterward)
  • Avoiding exposure by always wearing shoes
  • Not cutting your own toenails
  • Not cutting or filing corns, calluses, or other foot protrusions
  • Not using harsh chemicals on your feet (such as wart removers)
  • Staying active to maintain good circulation

Surgery

If other treatment methods have not proven effective to treat your foot and ankle arthritis, your orthopedist may recommend surgery.

This can include fusion surgery, which involves fusing bones together using screws, pins, rods, and/or plates. Another type of surgery is joint replacement surgery, which involves replacing all or part of the arthritic joint with an artificial implant (prosthesis).

Orthopedists in Colorado Springs

Is your foot arthritis getting you down? The board-certified doctors at Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence are here to help you care for your arthritis and any orthopedic issues you may have. We pride ourselves in providing the best care possible and delivering that care with compassion and respect.

Call us today at (719) 623-1050 to request a consultation, or use our online appointment request form right now. We look forward to helping you live a more active lifestyle with less pain, so you can get back to the life you love.

5 Causes of Wrist Pain

Whether you enjoy an athletic, energetic lifestyle or live a more sedentary, relaxing life, you may sometimes experience wrist pain that can slow down or stop your activities. Many factors can lead to wrist pain, and it’s often difficult to identify the precise cause, but there are some specific activities and conditions that can lead to soreness and pain in your wrists.

The most frequent causes of wrist pain include the following:

1. Injury

The wrist is formed by eight small bones at the base of the hand, called carpal bones, which connect to your forearm bones. The scaphoid bone, located at the base of the thumb, is the wrist bone that is fractured the most often.

Wrist injuries can occur when you fall onto your outstretched hand to catch your fall. Your entire body weight may be thrust onto the wrist area with enough force to cause damage. This action can cause strains, sprains, and fractures.

Tears in the wrist ligaments and tendons are also frequent injuries in athletes. High-impact contact sports such as hockey and football tend to create a higher risk of injury to the wrists.

2. Repetitive Stress

Activities that involve continuous repetitive stress of the hands, wrists, and fingers, such as typing, playing tennis or golf, and even driving for long distances, can eventually lead to wrist injury.

Repetitive use of the wrist can inflame its tendons (tendinitis) or put excessive pressure on local nerves. Certain jobs such as assembly line work, hairdressing, construction, or even sewing can cause repetitive damage to the wrist.

3. Arthritis

Arthritis occurs when the cartilage between bones wears down. Cartilage helps cushion joints and maintains their smooth movement and correct function. If arthritis develops in the wrist, the joints in the wrist area become inflamed and painful and, in extreme cases, may lose movement altogether.

The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which can be caused by aging, obesity, injury, or the daily wear-and-tear of joints. Arthritis-related pain is often experienced as a dull toothache-like sensation.

Osteoarthritis of the wrist is not common, but it can happen to people who have had wrist fractures in the past. Rheumatoid arthritis, which is caused by the immune system mistakenly attacking healthy joints, can affect both wrists at the same time.

4. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve, running from the forearm to the palm of the hand, becomes compressed or squeezed by the surrounding tissue. The median nerve crosses the palm side of the wrist at a narrow channel called the carpal tunnel, surrounded by bones and ligaments.

The median nerve is central to the wrist, hand, and finger movement. People sometimes describe the pain of carpal tunnel syndrome as painful pins-and-needles or a tingling sensation. The pain may reach all the way up to the shoulder, and it is usually experienced at night or after working for many hours.

5. Other Diseases and Conditions

Obesity and diabetes can put you at a higher risk of experiencing wrist pain. Conditions that can produce wrist pain include a ganglion cyst, which is a fluid-filled lump that can appear on top of your wrist. It can be drained by a physician, but it usually goes away naturally.

 An underactive thyroid gland can also cause wrist pain and inflammation. Kienbock’s disease is another condition seen in young adults when the blood supply to the bones of the wrist is affected.

Orthopedic Surgeon in Colorado Springs

Our team of physicians at the Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence are experts in wrist, knee, and joint injuries, and we can implement the most effective treatments. When surgery is warranted, our orthopedic surgeons utilize the least invasive techniques available.

For outstanding orthopedic treatment, call our Colorado Springs office at (719) 623-1050 or fill out our online appointment request form. Let us help you stay in the game!

Tackling Long-Term Chronic Pain with Your Orthopedic Team

Pain is no fun, but do you know what’s worse than pain? Chronic pain.

Chronic pain is pain that you experience repeatedly over time. It can be relentless and prevent you from living life the way you want. But there is one benefit of chronic pain. It’s telling you that something is wrong in your body. As always, you should listen to signals your body sends you – and chronic pain is one you shouldn’t ignore.

Do You Have Chronic Pain?

Nearly every single person has experienced pain in their lives. So how do you know if your pain is chronic pain? Chronic pain makes your body hurt for a long period of time. You will feel the same pain over several weeks, months, or years.

Regular pain doesn’t work like that. You will experience regular pain after an injury or after strenuous activity that puts pressure on the body part. The pain goes away as the body heals.

Chronic pain does not go away. It stays because an underlying issue is going unaddressed. If you experience pain consistently over a long period of time, you are experiencing chronic pain and should consult with an orthopedic specialist to help diagnose the underlying issue.

How Can an Orthopedic Team Help?

Orthopedics involves diagnosing, treating, and preventing issues of the musculoskeletal system – the body’s bones, muscles, joints, tendons, nerves, and ligaments. If you are dealing with chronic pain anywhere in your body, an orthopedic specialist can help diagnose the issue and create a treatment plan to tackle it.

Many times, chronic pain is caused by underlying issues that only a professional in the field can diagnose and treat. For example, knee pain could be caused by a cartilage issue, a muscle issue, a ligament issue, or diseases such as arthritis and osteoporosis.

Your orthopedic team will perform a variety of diagnostic tests and examine your body to best determine the cause of your chronic pain. After diagnosis, the orthopedic team will discuss treatment options to help you determine which is best for you. This may include medication, physical therapy, and/or surgery. Once you and the team decide on a type of treatment, it will be performed.

The following orthopedic specialists can help address your chronic pain issues:

·       Orthopedic Surgeon – An orthopedic surgeon diagnoses, treats, and corrects musculoskeletal issues. He or she employs a variety of treatment methods including medications, physical therapies, and surgical procedures to fix the issues.

·       Orthopedic Nurse – Orthopedic nurses assist the orthopedic surgeon in the practice and in the operating room. They help patients before, during, and after treatment.

·       Orthopedic Technologist – An orthopedic technologist assists orthopedic surgeons with the technology used in the practice and in the operating room.

Your orthopedic team will help you every step of the way as you embark on your journey to finally get rid of your chronic pain.

If you are experiencing chronic pain and want to find a way to permanently stop it, the Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence will be happy to help. Call (719) 623-1050 today to make an appointment.

Foot Care for Arthritis

We rely on our feet for stability and movement. Feet are complex structures that support our weight and provide the ability to move in amazing ways. In fact, there are 28 bones and more than 30 joints in each foot! Although we take them for granted when everything feels fine, feet are unfortunately more prone to injury and conditions such as arthritis. Possible consequences of arthritis of the foot include pain, swelling, stiffness, and loss of mobility. Proper foot care for arthritis can help minimize these symptoms.

Types of foot arthritis

There are more than 100 different kinds of arthritis that can affect the joints of the foot, but most cases belong to one of three categories: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and posttraumatic arthritis.

 

Osteoarthritis is the most common, caused by wear and tear of the joints over time. Most people with osteoarthritis are over 50 but it can occur in younger people. Repeated stress of the joints wears away the cartilage in one or more joints. The bones of the joint then rub together painfully and bone spurs may develop. This condition may result in a bunion.

 

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder. Nobody knows the exact cause, but it is thought to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Often beginning in the foot, the immune system attacks the synovium, or lining of the joints. This causes painful swelling that can result in permanent deformity.

 

Posttraumatic arthritis develops after an injury, usually a fracture. People who have had an injury to the foot are much more likely to develop arthritis later on. This type of arthritis involves the wearing away of cartilage, similar to osteoarthritis. It can occur at any age if there has been a foot injury.

 

Foot arthritis care

Although there is no cure for arthritis, there are steps you can take to relieve pain and increase flexibility.

 

Weight loss – obesity increases the risk of developing arthritis due to increased pressure on the joints. Losing weight, even a small amount, can make a big difference in reducing pressure and pain.

NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen can be very effective in reducing swelling and relieving pain.

Physical therapy and exercise can increase mobility through flexibility and strengthening of supporting muscles.

Changing activities – If high impact activities are part of your routine, consider changing to something less likely to put stress on the joints of your feet. Walking, swimming, and yoga are good examples or exercises that are low-impact.

Orthotic devices and comfortable shoes – shoe inserts can relieve pressure on damaged joints and reduce pain when walking. High heels and point-toed shoes should be avoided. Shoes should be wide enough so that your foot is not being squeezed (especially if you have a bunion) with a square-toed front.

Apply cold packs – Cold helps reduce swelling and numbs painful joints, especially after you’ve been on your feet for a significant period of time.

Assistive devices – a cane can be a good way to reduce the amount of weight placed on your foot when walking.

 

If you have arthritis of the foot, your doctor can help determine the best treatment plan for your unique condition and activities. At the Colorado Center for Orthopaedic Excellence, our caring providers are experts in all kinds of foot and ankle conditions, including arthritis. In the Colorado Springs area, call (719) 623-1050 for an appointment today.

Does Repetitive Motion Cause Arthritis?

Arthritis is a very common joint disease that causes pain, inflammation, swelling, and weakness in the joints. Doctors are often asked if repetitive motion causes arthritis

Repetitive motion does not cause every type of arthritis; arthritis actually encompasses more than 100 joint diseases. The most common type of arthritis that can be caused by repetitive motion is osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis Symptoms    

Osteoarthritis (also simply called “arthritis”) is a degenerative joint disease that breaks down the cartilage in joints. Cartilage is a rubbery material that covers the ends of the bones that meet at joints. Cartilage serves as a buffer between the bones and helps them glide against each other, without touching and damaging the ends of the bones.

The cartilage breakdown that is characteristic of arthritis causes pain, swelling, and weakness at the joints. These uncomfortable symptoms are specifically caused by bones that rub against each other without the buffer of cartilage protecting them. 

Repetitive Motion

Repetitive motion is when a person does the same activity or movement repeatedly. Let’s say your hobby is knitting. If you knit for hours every day of the week, you are doing repetitive motion with your hands. This can lead to overuse of your hands (which includes the hand’s joints) and to conditions like osteoarthritis.   

Many jobs require repetitive motion, including those in construction, offices, and manufacturing. Consequently, many workers develop injuries or conditions like arthritis. 

Dealing With Repetitive Motion

Repetitive motion can seem difficult to avoid, especially if you have a job or other commitment that requires it. However, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of injury or development of arthritis from repetitive motion. 

Take Breaks

If you have to do repetitive motion for several hours and cannot avoid it, you can add breaks to your routine. This can help change up the motions your body goes through, allowing your joints to get some rest. Diligently adding breaks to your routine can significantly help reduce the risk of injury caused by repetitive motion.

Use Ergonomic Equipment

Ergonomic furniture and accessories are designed to reduce pressure and strain on the body by optimizing comfort. Using ergonomic furniture like chairs, desks, or standing mats can help reduce strain on your joints. This prevents you from repeatedly doing motions that decrease your body’s comfort level.  

Exercise

If you cannot avoid repetitive motion, you can certainly add exercise to your routine. Exercise helps increase blood flow, strength, and flexibility in your body. Plus, it significantly reduces your risk of injury and conditions like osteoarthritis.

Orthopedists in Colorado

The board-certified physicians at Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence provide total orthopedic care for arthritis patients. Our doctors treat the many forms of arthritis, plus other orthopedic conditions and injuries. 

If you have arthritis or any other musculoskeletal condition, call (719) 623-1050 today to make an appointment. You can also request an appointment online. We look forward to caring for all of your orthopedic needs with our comprehensive team approach.

The 411 on Gout

Gout is a painful form of arthritis, characterized by inflammation that occurs when uric acid builds up and crystalizes in your joints. Symptoms include painful inflammation, tenderness and redness around the affected joint. Some people experience gout in different joints of the body, such as the knees or elbows, but it most commonly effects the big toe.

If you have high levels of uric acid in your blood, you may have a condition called hyperuricemia. Your liver normally metabolizes uric acid, and the kidneys get rid of it when you go to the bathroom. The levels of uric acid build up when not enough uric acid is eliminated, or too much uric acid is being produced. The purines in our food which increases the uric acid levels in our blood, are known to bring on gout attacks.

The uric acid buildup takes a crystalline form, and often finds a home in the joints. Since our joints need to stay lubricated and run very smoothly, a buildup of crystals will cause inflammation and pain, known as gout. When you are experiencing a gout attack, the affected joint will feel hot, swollen, turn red and will become very sensitive to the touch. The onset of pain during a gout attack will increase for 24-48 hours if left untreated.

Blood and urine tests are always recommended by your doctor in order to measure the level of uric acid in your blood. Taking in fluids dilutes the levels of uric acid, so drinking at least 64 ounces of water a day is ideal for breaking down uric acid levels, and as a result gout pain may decrease.

If you are experiencing gout flare-ups, it could be one of a few reasons and risk factors: males over 40 years old, family members with a history of gout, obesity, aspirin medications, a diet consisting of high purine foods or high-fructose drinks. Heavy drinking also contributes to elevated uric acid levels.

More often than not, gout has to do with our diet and what we are eating. It’s best to stay clear of certain foods when you have high uric acid, have had gout attacks in the past or family members that have had it as well. Certain medications can help control uric acid levels, and your orthopedic doctor can recommend the best treatment option for you.

While gout may seem like something that you can manage, it’s best to get it treated right away before inflammation and pain turn into more serious injury or disease. To learn more about gout and how to avoid it, call Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence in Colorado Springs at (719) 623-1050 or request an appointment online.

Top Tips for Surviving Arthritis

There are several forms of arthritis, the most common of which is osteoarthritis. Often called wear and tear arthritis, osteoarthritis is caused by a breakdown of the cartilage that cushions and protects your joints. Rheumatoid arthritis, another condition that is extremely widespread, is known as an autoimmune disorder, meaning that the immune system sends a signal to the body to essentially attack itself. The reason for this is not well understood, but it’s believed that the immune system no longer recognizes the tissues as being part of the body. Regardless of which kind you have, here are some helpful tips for surviving arthritis.

Arthritis on a Day to Day Basis

Many people with arthritis experience pain, stiff joints, a decrease in their range of motion, or redness and swelling of the affected joints. If you have arthritis, you may also experience fatigue, or other symptoms such as a fever, depending on the underlying disease. The pain may be worse in the early morning and symptoms can improve or worsen on a day by day basis.

First, know that you are not alone. Millions of people live with the disease. You may be able to find a support group near you. If you can’t, consider starting one of your own. Even if you do not have a group locally, or feel up to creating one, many groups can be found using social media. Reaching out to your family, friends and community may feel slightly uncomfortable at first, but you may be surprised at the level of support that is available.

Next, make sure to talk to your doctor about any medications, exercise routines or dietary changes that you might need to make to help lower inflammation and pain. A diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, healthy oils, and lean meats is a good place to start. Additionally, certain foods are known to help mitigate inflammation. These include: ginger, olive oil, tomatoes, nuts, fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel, strawberries, cherries, oranges, blueberries, and green leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach.

Exercise may be the last thing on your mind when you do not feel well, but it can also help lower pain and preserve function. Consider a low-impact water based exercise program or other daily exercise such as walking and or lifting small weights to help build stamina. Your doctor can advise you about what exercises are right for your specific needs. Be sure to take any prescribed medications and work with your doctor to find a treatment plan you can benefit from.

Be sure to get adequate rest as much as possible, too. There are days when your energy levels are naturally going to be decreased. Paying attention to your body and seeking to balance your life is always a good idea. Consider adding yoga, tai chi, meditation, or other activities that can help you relax your body and your mind.

Keep in mind that having a rough day or week from arthritis does not mean that it always has to be that way. To learn more about some effective treatments for arthritis, or any other orthopedic related concern, please call Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence at (719) 623-1050 to request an appointment.

Types of Hand Pain

The anatomy of our hands is complex. The hand has 27 bones, muscles, joints, and ligaments. Due to the fragility of the hand, they are extremely prone to injury. Hand pain can also be caused by disease or injury affecting any of the structures in the hand.

Any problem causing pain, swelling, discoloration, numbness or a tingling sensation, or abnormal shape of the hand or wrist that persists for more than two or three days should be evaluated by your doctor to establish the cause and obtain the best treatment as early as possible. The early the problem is dealt with, the better the outcome or diagnosis will be, and the more treatable it will be. Conditions that affect the hand and wrist include:

Sprains and Strains:

Sprains and Strains are common with the hand and fingers. A strain involves the soft tissues of the hand, wrist or fingers. A sprain involves injury to your ligaments (bands of tissue that connect the bones together).

Fractures:

The common cause of a hand fracture is falling and landing on your arm or hand. Fractures are usually treated by splinting or putting on a cast, to allow the fracture to be supported and heal properly.  

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:

CTS is a condition in the hand and wrist which causes numbness and tingling. The carpal tunnel is the part of the wrist. Permanent damage can occur if not treated properly.

Arthritis: Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid:

There are two major types of arthritis that can affect the hands. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, which gets worse with age and is caused by wear and tear. This type of arthritis affects the smooth cartilage lining of the joint. Osteoarthritis makes movement more difficult than usual, leading to pain and stiffness. Once the cartilage lining starts to roughen and thin out, the tendons and ligaments must compensate and work harder.

Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the body’s immune system targets affected joints, which leads to pain and swelling. The outer covering of the joint called the synovium is the first place that becomes affected. This can then spread across the joint, leading to further swelling and a change in the joint’s shape, and may cause the bone and cartilage to break down.

Trigger Finger:

Trigger finger is caused when the fingers bend, but lock and become stiff, causing severe pain.

If you’re living with hand pain, it may be time to take a closer look at your symptoms and explore treatment options. Call Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence at (719) 623-1050 to request an appointment.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Vs. Arthritis

Like everybody else, you rely on the use of your hands for almost everything you do on a daily basis. Unfortunately, when you start to experience constant pain and discomfort in your hands and wrists, these simple tasks often become uncomfortable and more difficult. Two big culprits of this type of pain are Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and both conditions are infamous for the pain and discomfort they bring to the hands and wrists. Since both of these conditions lead to a similar type of pain, they can be easily confused. You should know that Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and arthritis are different conditions, and ultimately may have different treatments and outcomes.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

The carpal tunnel is an area on the palm side of your wrist, which is made up of bones and ligaments. This area houses a main nerve to your hand, known as the median nerve, as well as the nine tendons that bend your fingers. The median nerve provides sensation to the palm side of your thumb and fingers, except your little finger. It also provides nerve signals to move the muscles around the base of your thumb.

This condition causes a tingling and numbness in your fingers and hand, often when you’re holding a steering wheel, phone or newspaper. This sensation can even wake you up from sleeping and may extend from your wrist up your arm. Carpal tunnel syndrome stems from anything that crowds, irritates or compresses the median nerve, such as a wrist fracture, swelling or inflammation.

Treatment:

In mild cases of this disorder, you can ease discomfort by taking frequent breaks to rest your hands. Try to avoid activities that worsen your symptoms, and even apply cold packs to reduce any swelling and inflammation. If these don’t relieve your symptoms within a few weeks, your doctor may recommend additional options such as wrist splinting, medications or surgery depending on how advanced the disorder is.

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)?

RA is an autoimmune disorder characterized by chronic inflammation, typically affecting the small joints in your hands as well as your feet. This condition isn’t caused by wear and tear, but rather it occurs when your immune system attacks your own body’s tissues. Specifically, it targets the lining of your joints, leading to painful swelling that can cause severe joint problems.

Treatment:

Although there isn’t a cure for rheumatoid arthritis, there are medications that reduce joint inflammation to relieve pain and slow joint damage. If you have RA, your rheumatologist may recommend occupational or physical therapy so you can learn to protect your joints and keep them flexible. If RA severely damages joints, surgery may be necessary.

If you would like to find out more information about Rheumatoid Arthritis and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, call Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence at (719) 623-1050 to request an appointment.

Cracking Knuckles: Is it bad for you?

Around 25 – 54 percent of people possess the habit of cracking their knuckles. Although a lot of people love cracking their knuckles, the habit is poorly understood. Likewise, many people believe that cracking your knuckles may cause a number of health problems.

Some people, for instance, think that the habit can lead to arthritis. From fingers and toes to necks and knees, everybody knows that someone who is a habitual joint popper. There have been rumors going around that their habit may cause arthritis, but are those rumors true?

Many of your joints, including those that allow your fingers to move and pop feature small pockets, or gaps, that are filled with synovial fluid. Like grease, this fluid allows the bones that have joints to glide close to one another without friction. When you pull, or “crack” a joint, you’re expanding the volume of space between your bones, and this expansion creates negative pressure, which sucks the synovial fluid into the newly created space. This sudden inflow of fluid is the popping you hear and feel when you crack your knuckles.

 So is this bad for your joints? Almost certainly not, as multiple studies have looked into the prevalence of “crackers” among large groups of osteoarthritis patients. They found no evidence that finger pullers and poppers are more likely to suffer from arthritis than those who don’t crack their knuckles. As stated before, there is no medical evidence to support this notion, but as evidence shows, it is possible that cracking knuckles a lot over a long period of time could cause problems like swelling or reduced grip strength.

To find out more information about this non-correlation between cracking your knuckles and arthritis, or another related concern, call Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence at (719) 623-1050 to request an appointment. 

Around 25 – 54 percent of people possess the habit of cracking their knuckles. Although a lot of people love cracking their knuckles, the habit is poorly understood. Likewise, many people believe that cracking your knuckles may cause a number of health problems.

Some people, for instance, think that the habit can lead to arthritis. From fingers and toes to necks and knees, everybody knows that someone who is a habitual joint popper. There have been rumors going around that their habit may cause arthritis, but are those rumors true?

Many of your joints, including those that allow your fingers to move and pop feature small pockets, or gaps, that are filled with synovial fluid. Like grease, this fluid allows the bones that have joints to glide close to one another without friction. When you pull, or “crack” a joint, you’re expanding the volume of space between your bones, and this expansion creates negative pressure, which sucks the synovial fluid into the newly created space. This sudden inflow of fluid is the popping you hear and feel when you crack your knuckles.

 So is this bad for your joints? Almost certainly not, as multiple studies have looked into the prevalence of “crackers” among large groups of osteoarthritis patients. They found no evidence that finger pullers and poppers are more likely to suffer from arthritis than those who don’t crack their knuckles. As stated before, there is no medical evidence to support this notion, but as evidence shows, it is possible that cracking knuckles a lot over a long period of time could cause problems like swelling or reduced grip strength.

To find out more information about this non-correlation between cracking your knuckles and arthritis, or another related concern, call Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence at (719) 623-1050 to request an appointment.