Is Cracking Your Knuckles Bad For You?
Your mother warned you not to crack your knuckles if you don't want arthritis. Was she right?
Patients ask me all the time if that cracking they love so much can lead to arthritis like the old superstition warns us. The simple answer is no. There have been several published studies that have compared individuals who crack their knuckles with those that do not. Those studies have found that there is no difference in rates of arthritis among the groups.
So why does it make that "pop" sound you may ask? What's happening in your knuckles or in your spine for that matter, is that the joints are being distracted, or slightly pulled away from each other. This gap creates air bubbles within the synovial fluid, the lubricant within the joint. There are many health benefits to experiencing that "cracking":
Increase in movement
Relaxation of the muscles surrounding the joint
And it just feels darn good too!
Of course I strongly recommend you seek out the treatment of a trained chiropractor before you start whipping your head around trying to get a pop. But by all means go ahead and keep cracking those knuckles.
Dr. Brian Gordon DC LAc
Active Care Spine Center