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Knuckle Cracking Does Not Cause Arthritis

Knuckle Cracking Is A-OK

I have written about knuckle cracking in the past, exposing the notion that doing so causes arthritis for what it is a health myth — one that is perpetuated by grandmothers all over the US. One doctor took his research on the subject quite personally.

For 60 years Dr. Donald Unger cracked the knuckles of his left hand repeatedly, but used his right hand as the "control group" and left them well alone. After 60 years of cracking, his left hand did not develop arthritis. For his decades long research, Unger was awarded an Ig Noble award, a lighthearted version of the Nobel prizes. The Ig Noble Prizes "honor achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think. The prizes are intended to celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative — and spur people's interest in science, medicine, and technology."

Scientific bottom line on your knuckles: keep on cracking. Want more weird body news? Find out the bizarre things that happen to your body when you exercise here or check out weird side effects of certain foods here.

Image Source: Thinkstock
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Wertew Wertew 3 years
greatest discovery ever
clareberrys clareberrys 7 years
I have cracked my knuckles for over about 15 years now...and not only do I crack my knuckles but I crack my toes, my elbows, my ankles, my neck, my back. I am very healthy and have never been told (except by my mother) that this would cause any problems. Its been around for a while that cracking knuckles does NOT cause arthritis. Thumbs up for this one!!
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 7 years
cute story but I'm not sure how I feel about this as scientific research?...
ClassicalTorture ClassicalTorture 7 years
My thumbs crack constantly. All I have to do is more them naturally. Good to know something beyond my control won't cause problems!
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
I played violin in school and my teacher used to tell us to never crack our knuckles - it will give us arthritis and make it harder to play. So I never cracked them. Now my chiropractor tells me it's good for joint health to crack them because it relieves fluid build up.
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