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Can Cracking My Knuckles Trigger Arthritis?

What are Knuckles?

You may have heard of this term or not, but either way, knuckles are parts of your fingers where the bone extends up in case you fold the hand or fingers. Cracking knuckles is commonly done during any activity that involves your hands, such as typing or writing. The exercise in simple terms produces a popping sound, which can either be okay with your neighbour or annoying.

Why Do Knuckles Crack?

The sound ‘pop’ of a cracked knuckle is triggered when the bubbles in the synovial fluid burst. This fluid lubricates joints and once you bend or pull the fingers, a negative pressure is created, which causes a sound.

According to orthopaedics, people tend to crack their knuckles to relax the muscles that surround the joint.

Can this Trigger Arthritis?

According to several studies and evaluations conducted, cracking knuckles doesn’t raise one’s risk of arthritis, however, extended research indicates certain drawbacks of this habit.

Evaluations also extended to the habitual knuckle-crackers and people who didn’t crack their knuckles and the following were retrieved;

  • Whenever one cracks the knuckles, vibratory energy is produced and this force indirectly destroys the hydraulic blades and ship propellers.

  • The knuckle-crackers also experienced more swelling in their hands as compared to the non-crackers.

  • The knuckle-crackers also had a weaker grip.

  • Lastly, nervous habits like biting nails are seen in those who crack their knuckles.

Medical Conclusions

Habitual knuckle-crackers or occasional crackers are generally advised to stop the habit, even though it is not entirely associated with arthritis. The habit is certainly linked to joint inflammation, the chances of which escalate with the number of crackings.

Looking at studies, orthopaedic doctors also found that the rates of knuckle-crackers remain the same in genders and the habit is somehow adopted.

Is there any treatment?

There is no treatment to eliminate the sound created whenever an individual cracks the knuckles. It is best to learn how to live without practicing the habit, especially for those with joint issues as it may increase the rate of inflammation.

How to take care of your finger Joints ?

  • Simply engage in regular and low-impact exercises to minimize joint issues like pain or arthritis.

  • Taking time off your PC to relax can also help promote the health of your finger joints.

  • Keep a normal body weight.

About The Author

Tanveer Bhutani
Eva Hospital encompasses various modern orthopedic practices pioneered by the prominent orthopedic surgeon in Ludhiana “Dr. Tanveer Singh Bhutani”.


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