Knuckle Cracking… To Crack Or Not To Crack

By  | October 9, 2017 | Filed under: Interesting Facts, News

Obsessive knuckle-crackers are probably familiar with the old warning: keep up the noisy habit, and you’ll get arthritis someday. If you’re like most, though, the thought of aching joints hasn’t stopped you from cracking away, however guiltily.

Can cracking your joints really give you chronic osteoarthritis? Or is it just a myth?

Turns out all that finger-wagging isn’t what it’s cracked up to be (sorry) — although there’s plenty of speculation about how one could fall victim to the condition. It’s sometimes said that the amount of force people apply to their knuckles could strain tendons. Others have noted that the mechanism behind the cracking noise — brought on by a rapid collapse of gaseous bubbles in between your joints into lots of smaller bubbles — isn’t unlike the cavitation that puts wear and tear on ship propellers.

The researchers concluded that having a history of knuckle-cracking had no correlation with osteoarthritis — even after accounting for people’s cumulative exposure to the habit.

So, compulsive joint-manipulators, rest easy: the only cracks you need worry about now are the ones you step on.

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