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Why You Shouldn't Crack Your Knuckles

Why You Shouldn't Crack Your Knuckles

Whether you do it for a sense of relief or as a nervous habit, many of us are familiar with the popping sound and sensation that happens when we crack our knuckles. While this habit may be a satisfying experience, cracking your knuckles too often may lead to issues affecting your hand health.

What Causes the “Cracking” Sound?

The “popping” or “cracking” sound that happens when we crack your knuckles is caused by popping bubbles in your synovial fluid, which is responsible for lubricating your joints. When you pull your bones apart, there is a buildup of negative pressure, causing these bubbles to burst. It is also possible for your joints to produce a popping sound due to the movement of your ligaments when stretching or bending the joints in your fingers. Think of it as blowing a bubble with chewing gum until it pops.

Side Effects of Cracking Your Knuckles

Contrary to popular belief, cracking your knuckles doesn’t actually contribute to the development of arthritis. However, there is the potential to cause injury to your hands if done improperly or with too much force.

Finger Dislocation

Your metacarpophalangeal joints are the knuckles, where your fingers meet the rest of your hand. Although these joints are very stable, it is still possible to dislocate these joints when enough external pressure is applied. Typically, this affects the index and pinky fingers.

Sprained Ligaments

Ligaments are tissues that connect your bones at the site of a joint. A sprain happens when supportive ligaments or overstretched or torn as a result of twisting, getting hit, or other types of trauma. When you experience a sprain in your finger, you may feel a popping or tearing sensation.

Primary and Specialty Care in Henry County

At Henry County Hospital, we’ve been providing compassionate healthcare since 1919. When it comes to primary and specialty care, each patient can expect individualized care that meets their needs. From education to emotional support, we focus on your individual health and wellness.