Have you ever been out in public and discovered yourself cracking your knuckles to the disapproval of others around you? Despite the fact that it could be considered a social faux pas, there is still debate over whether cracking your knuckles is actually harmful to your health.
Contrary to widespread belief, knuckle cracking does not cause arthritis. In reality, a study by scientist Donald L. Unger revealed no difference between the hands of people who cracked their knuckles every day for 60 years and those who did not in terms of the existence of arthritis.
A larger study also came to the same conclusion, finding no connection between knuckle cracking and the onset of arthritis.
So, what is causing the cracking sound that often accompanies the act of cracking your knuckles? It is simply the bursting of gas bubbles in the synovial fluid, which helps to lubricate your joints.
While there have been a few reports of dislocated joints and tendon injuries resulting from knuckle cracking, these instances are typically the result of applying too much force or moving the joint in the wrong direction.
In conclusion, while cracking your knuckles may be a harmless habit for the individual participating in the act, it may be annoying to those around them.
If you frequently crack your knuckles and would like to quit, try pinpointing and dealing with any sources of stress in your life. You might also think about finding other coping mechanisms, including deep breathing or squeezing a stress ball.
Keep in mind to also be aware of your behaviour and make an attempt to stop whenever you notice yourself rapping your knuckles.