Skip Nav
Walking Before-and-After Weight Loss
Weight Loss
You Won't Believe the Workout That Helped Me Drop 75 Pounds in 6 Months
How Do WW FitPoints Work?
Healthy Eating Tips
This Is Exactly How WW FitPoints Work — and How You Can Use Them to Indulge
Workout Clothes
Outdoor Voices Is Now at Nordstrom, So We Might Need a Bigger Closet
Trader Joe's Vegan Cocoa Peppermint Creamer
Health News
Turn Your Coffee Into a Peppermint Patty With This Vegan Creamer From Trader Joe's
Lili Reinhart
Lili Reinhart's Empowering Speech About Body Image Deserves Its Own Freakin' Billboard

Does Cracking Your Knuckles Cause Arthritis?

In order to answer this question, we first need to talk about arthritis. It's the name for a group of conditions where there is damage caused to the joints. Here are some examples:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis are autoimmune diseases in which the body is attacking itself.
  • Septic arthritis is caused by joint infection.
  • Gouty arthritis is caused when uric acid crystals get deposited in the joints, which causes inflammation.
  • The most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis (also known as degenerative joint disease), occurs after an injury or infection in the joint, or simply as a result of aging.

Hmm, I see that of these 4 examples, none of them are caused by popping your joints.

Now let's talk about knuckle cracking. A joint is an area where 2 or more bones meet. This area is surrounded by joint fluid that protects the bones from rubbing against each other. When you "crack" or "pop" your knuckles or other joints, you are NOT grinding your bones together. Carbon dioxide is dissolved in that joint fluid. The sound you hear is a result of the high pressure being released, when the gas comes out and forms a bubble. That release of pressure allows a temporary increase in the joint's range of motion, which is why it feels so good. The reason you can't re-crack your knuckles immediately after is because it takes a little time for the gas to get re-dissolved back into the joint fluid.

There is no evidence that cracking your joints causes arthritis, or any other permanent damage - it just offers relief.

So the next time you crack your knuckles and someone says "Stop! You're going to get arthritis!," just smile and politely explain that you're just releasing the pressure of your joint fluid.

Source

From Our Partners
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds