Can cracking your knuckles cause arthritis?
Orthopedic hand surgeon Michael Darowish, M.D., explains that…it’s unlikely. As joints are stretched,…when someone cracks their knuckles, the space within the joint increases. Because the joint is a closed space, this increase in volume is associated with a loss in pressure, which causes gases to come out of the fluid in the joint and “pop.”
However, researchers have never been able to relate knuckle cracking to forming arthritis –- it’s related to age, trauma, genetics and other systemic diseases, not environmental causes like knuckle cracking.
A California physician, Dr. Donald Unger, cracked the knuckles on his left hand every day for over 60 years, but did not crack the knuckles on his right hand. He found no difference between the two hands, and was awarded the 2009 (Ig) Nobel Prize for his findings.
Antique Medical Illustrations, Human Hand/iStockphoto/Thinkstock
Myths aren’t always what they are cracked-up to be!
See more here: “The Medical Minute…Debunking Old Wives’ Tales”, where physicians from Penn State Hershey Medical Center tackle the misinformation of some common beliefs.
Do you crack your knuckles?