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Why You Shouldn’t Crack Your Knuckles

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Why You Shouldn’t Crack Your Knuckles

Why Cracking Your Knuckles is Bad for Your Joints

While many of us enjoy cracking your knuckles every now and again, it can actually wreak havoc on your joint health and even increase your risk of developing arthritis. Learn more about why you should nip this bad habit in the bud.

What Actually Makes Your Knuckles “Crack”

The “cracking” sound that you hear when you hear when you apply pressure to your knuckles is actually caused by bubbles in your synovial fluid bursting from the added pressure or by pulling your bones apart. This synovial fluid is responsible for lubricating your joints.

Why People Crack Their Knuckles

Studies have shown that more than 50% of people crack their knuckles regularly, which can be caused by a multitude of reasons. Some of the main reasons people enjoy indulging in hearing these pops and cracks include:

  • They enjoy the sound.
  • They like the feeling of released tension.
  • It’s a nervous habit.
  • Some people do it to relieve stress.

How it Affects Your Joints

Although cracking your knuckles regularly can be relatively harmless, it can also cause damage if it’s done incorrectly or too frequently. If you pull or crack your knuckles incorrectly, you can actually cause a ligament injury or even dislocate your fingers. If you notice sudden pain or swelling after cracking your knuckles, you may have caused an injury to your joint ant you should see your doctor as soon as possible.


Cracking your knuckles consistently can also wear away the cartilage in your joints over time, resulting in pain-causing inflammation within your joints.

Orthopedic Care in Bishop, CA

At Northern Inyo Healthcare District, our team of orthopedists take a holistic approach to care, focusing on you as a whole person rather than specific symptoms or conditions. Whether you’re suffering from aches and pains or mobility issues, we’re here to help improve your quality of life.


For more information about the orthopedic services at Northern Inyo Healthcare District or to schedule an appointment, call (760) 873-2605.