Fact or Hoax: Does Cracking Your Knuckles Really Cause Arthritis?
This is one thing I was told by my parents many years ago, but is it really true?
Well cracking your knuckles is just causing gas bubbles between your finger joints to pop which causes the popping or cracking sound you hear.
Studies over decades have concluded that there is no evidence that cracking your knuckles will cause arthritis, it also found there is no benefit of it either.
The belief by most people is that cracking your knuckles wears on your joints and damages them causing osteoarthritis, this is just not true.
Genetics is what determines whether you will have arthritis or not.
"The vast majority of arthritis patients have a genetic predisposition to the disease,” said John Fackler, an orthopedics and sports medicine doctor, in a Houston Methodist blog post. “However, if you have an injury when you're young or tear a ligament or meniscus, that puts you at higher risk for arthritis when you get older."
Now if you already have osteoarthritis, studies show that cracking your knuckles could possibly worsen your symptoms, and twisting or pressing the joint can aggravate other conditions such as trauma or gout.
Houston Methodist Hospital notes that cracking your knuckles could cause the joint to swell temporarily. Harvard Health and the Cleveland Clinic note that cracking your knuckles incorrectly like pulling or pressing with too much force or bending your finger backward can cause injuries to the tissue and tendons and cause long-term damage to your joints.
“You’ll know quickly if you’ve made a mistake because it’ll hurt, and cracking your knuckles isn’t supposed to hurt,” say experts from the Cleveland Clinic.