Are you cracking your knuckles most of the time? Do you find yourself cracking your knuckles when you didn’t have anything to do? Have you heard stories of people developing arthritis because they crack their knuckles all the time? Well, these are the important issues that usually lead to questions as to whether cracking your knuckles is good or bad, and who better to ask than your local Wesley Chapel chiropractor?
What Causes The Popping Sound?
The belief that cracking the knuckles causes arthritis was long seen as a myth. Cracking one’s knuckles does not lead to inflammation that may possibly lead to arthritis. The popping sound in the knuckles also is not a result of dislocation of the fingers and is not associated with fracture as well. The sound created when someone cracks the knuckles results from the movement of air from the synovial fluid in the finger joints and signifies the release of pressure in the synovial cavity.
When someone cracks the knuckles, air bubbles are released from the synovial cavity, a small space in the joint that contains fluids that lubricate the bones. A popping sound is then created as a result of the release of the air bubbles. This is in contrast to the popular belief that the cracking sound is caused by a fracture or dislocation on the fingers.
Does Cracking Your Knuckles Lead to Joint Damage?
The pressure exerted when someone cracks the muscles in only minimal to cause damage to the joints and surrounding soft tissues. In fact, several studies have supported the absence of negative effects of cracking the finger joints in the hands.
A published report in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatism have found that there was no significant difference on the hands of subjects who crack their knuckles. There was also no difference in the development of arthritis between the hand popped compared to the hand that was not popped. This shows that cracking the knuckles does not directly cause arthritis and other systemic effects are seen to be the cause of arthritis development.
Another study by Jorge Castellanos involved 350 individuals who crack their knuckles. Based on the results, there was also no difference between the experimental and the control groups negating previous allegations that knuckle popping may cause damage to the hands.
While cracking the knuckles may not be directly related to arthritis, a study has seen that the grip strength may be affected; nevertheless, there is no sufficient evidence to support such. Other variables that may have been affecting the grip strength of the subjects were not analyzed, which leads to a weak evidence to conclude that cracking the knuckles may affect grip strength.
With all the facts presented, it can be seen that cracking the knuckles is not bad; however, it also does not lead to beneficial results so there is no strong indication why you need to crack your knuckles. Cracking the knuckles can have no negative implications, but there are also no positive implications so you might as well stay out of cracking your knuckles in the first place.