If you are a knuckle cracker, like the majority of the population, (more…)someone has probably mentioned that it will one day lead to arthritis. Though, it (cracking your joints) may be a cringe worthy sound to those nearby, it will not increase your chances of developing arthritis. According to this 2010 study as well as a newer study from Plos One, cracking your knuckles is NOT directly related to osteoarthritis in joints.
We were curious though, what exactly causes that “popping” sound? Synovial fluid, a sort of lubricant for your joints fills the spaces within each joint. This fluid contains gases such as Oxygen, Nitrogen and Carbon Dioxide, which can transform the Synovial fluid into bubbles. When you “pop” your joint, you are stretching out the space between each bone where these bubbles have formed, creating a vaccuum-like event that pops the bubble, causing the sound you hear. The more you crack your joints, the looser they become, but it does not injure the surrounding structures within the joint (cartilage, tendon & bone). A doctor in California embraced this guilty pleasure for over 60 years. When Donald Unger was in his teens, he decided to test the theory that cracking your knuckles would cause arthritis. He cracked only the knuckles on his left hand for 60 years. After 60 years, neither of his hands had developed arthritis!
But don’t worry, should your joints develop arthritis, Arthrosurface may have a solution for you!