Do you remember being in a room taking a test and hearing people around you cracking their knuckles? Do you crack your own knuckles? It is a common behavior that many people do daily. It involves manipulating the finger joint that results in an audible crack and is often done habitually. Studies have estimated that between 25% and 54% of the population cracks their knuckles. For some people it is a way to release tension and yet others say it just feels good.
Have you ever wondered if cracking your knuckles is harmful?
Is Cracking Knuckles Harmful?
There is no good evidence that cracking your knuckles makes your joints larger or weakens the strength of your grip. There have been several studies throughout the years coming to the same conclusion. In addition, in all of the studies there was no evidence that cracking knuckles led to arthritis either.
Why Do People Crack Their Knuckles?
Most people like the sound of hearing their knuckles crack and yet others simple like the way that it feels. People claim that it relives tension and even increases mobility (even though there is no evidence that it actually increases mobility). Some people are nervous or stressed and the cracking helps to relieve some of the tension. But, probably one of the most common reasons is simply habit. Once you start cracking the knuckles, you continue to do it even without thinking about it. For those who crack their knuckles more than five times a day, they are called habitual knuckle crackers. So whether you are cracking them out of habit or just to relieve a little bit of nervous energy, it is unlikely you will cause any harm to your fingers.
At LA Health Solutions, we pride ourselves on our multi-disciplinary facility that offers a variety of comprehensive services including interventional pain management, physical therapy, and chiropractic work. Many problems that we see in our patients can be treated with the right mix of non-surgical approaches, you do not have to have surgery first to see results.