Is Cracking Your Knuckles Bad for You?

The cracking and popping of joints tends to incite worry and concern within the individual over why it is occurring and whether the sound is signaling the onset of an inflammatory disorder. Even more disconcerting to some is when a loved one insists on cracking his/her knuckles. Many people believe that cracking your knuckles is bad for you and cause conditions like arthritis to appear later in life, which is why most of us have heard this old wives’ tale.

The truth is that it is not clear why joints crack and point more so in one person than in another. The term, “crepitus,” has been coined as the term for the repeated, light cracking that is heard when knees are bent, but no one quite understands the mechanism behind the cracking sounds. There are theories as to the cause of the cracking, such as tightening ligaments that snap when stretched and nitrogen bubbles that are continuously expelled and pushed back into joint fluid with each cracking of the knuckle. Yet, none of the proposed theories point to the cracking as a precursor to future joint issues. In fact, it is widely believed that the cracking sound and purposeful cracking of your knuckles isn’t in fact bad for you, unless the sound and actions are accompanied by pain, the joint locking up, and/or swelling and redness at the joint site.

Chiropractic Treatment in Longview WA | Dr. RIck Still | Family Chiropractic Care Pain, locking of a joint and/or swelling and redness that occurs simultaneously with the cracking and popping may indeed be cause for concern as inflammatory disorders often present in this way. Conversely, these signs can also be evidence of a minor injury. A licensed chiropractor who has been extensively trained in chiropractic care and inflamed joints can help to alleviate the pain you are experiencing and determine if you require a more in-depth examination with your primary care doctor.

If you are experiencing joint pain with or without a cracking sound, it is time to seek the services of the respected Family Chiropractic Care team.

Schedule your consultation today by calling our friendly and informative staff so you can be carefully examined to identify the cause of your pain.