Posts

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.