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Is It Bad? A Sound When You “Crack” Your Knuckles

Picture: Healthline

Have you ever wondered why our knuckles make a sound when we crack them? You can hear your joints snap, crack, and pop when cracking your knuckles.

Many people enjoy cracking their knuckles. I mean, who doesn’t? Some people describe it as a habit to release stress, and it can also become a way to deal with nervous energy.

But why do they make a sound? According to a tweet by Khairul Hafidz, between the fingers, there are joints, between the joints, there is fluid known as synovial fluid. In the liquid, there are various gases (O2, CO2, N). When we stretch the joints of our fingers, gas will be produced and form bubbles. Thus, the sound is produced.

Some people might find the sound addicting, so they will try to crack their knuckles again just to hear the sound. He added that if you want the sound to be produced again, you have to wait for the bubbles to turn into gas. Therefore, you have to wait a little longer to make the “explosion” sound again.

Is it dangerous to crack your knuckles?

One of the strongest pieces of proof that cracking knuckles is safe comes from a Californian physician who testified to an experiment he performed on himself. He had always cracked his knuckles on only one hand. After years of this behavior, he analyzed his own x-rays and discovered no difference in arthritis between his hands.

Moreover, Dr. Klapper asserts that cracking knuckles poses no risks to the fingers, neck, ankles, or other joints that pop and crack throughout the course of the day. It’s whether from regular daily motions or compulsive habits. Then, from here, we can conclude that it’s totally safe to crack them.

A doctor, known as Dr. Karl explained in a TikTok video: “When you pull on your finger to crack your joint, you make the joint space, the space between your bones, bigger – and this sucks the ligaments in and it makes a gas bubble pop into existence.”

“However the energy release is only about seven percent of what you need to damage the cartilage.”, he added. For more explanation, do check his video below.


Does cracking your knuckles cause arthritis? Post your questions in the comments and if you want more science, head to my podcasts! #drkarl #science

♬ original sound – Dr Karl

Are there any chances that a joint will crack?

There is currently no proof that knuckle cracking causes arthritis. However, some studies have suggested that long-term knuckle crackers may eventually experience hand swelling and a reduced hand grip.

Besides that, according to WebMD, if the pain is present along with your knuckle breaking, it may indicate that there are additional issues with the joint’s structure, such as torn ligaments or loose cartilage. Additionally, some people who have arthritis, bursitis, or tendinitis may hear cracking noises as a result of their bloated tissues snapping.

Sources: Khairul Hafidz, Creaky Joints, Web MD, Cedars Sinai, Health Harvard, Dr. Karl

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