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Does cracking my knuckles cause arthritis? - Posturefixx

Does cracking my knuckles cause arthritis?

Dr. John Fackler from Houston Methodist Orthopedics and Sports Medicine states that “There are no known detrimental effects to cracking your knuckles.” At worst, knuckle-cracking may cause temporary swelling or a feeling of weakness in the hands — but arthritis, not quite.

So myth busted!

When you crack your knuckles “feels as if it relieves tension in the joints,” Dr. Fackler says. “When that phenomenon happens, it causes a distraction of the joint and separates the joint for a brief second. If traction is applied to the joint, it feels as if it loosens up and is more mobile.” 

1

So when do you get osteoarthritis?

This occurs with age and or genetically. It is generally found that this happens around the age of 40’s years plus. Dr. Fackler says. “The vast majority of arthritis patients have a genetic predisposition to the disease. 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.”  

2

So it’s safe to do it?

Well not quite. When you crack your knuckles it can cause temporary swelling or a subtle increase in the size of the joint, but essentially there is no major harm. However the more you do it the more you can over stretch and irritate the nerves surrounding the joint. According to Dr. Fackler “There are no long-term studies that show knuckle-cracking causes any damage,” Dr. Fackler says. Until then, “When it comes to your fingers, don’t even worry about it.”

Reference: Does cracking your knuckles cause arthritis?   

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