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The Skinny on: Cracking Your Knuckles

When someone tells you that cracking your knuckles will lead to arthritis, they're wrong.

What exactly makes that "popping" sound? When you crack your knuckles, or back, or whatever, you are pushing the joint into or out of its normal position. Joints are the meeting points of 2 separate bones. A thick liquid called synovial fluid is found between the bones. When you stretch, twist, push, or pull those bones apart, the pressure is reduced on that fluid, and bubbles form and quickly burst - making that familiar "pop."

Research from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine shows that people who crack their back, neck, knuckles or knees generally have healthier joints than those who don't. Well, actually, people who tend to pop their joints are more likely to be more physically active than non-crackers.

So go ahead and crack away. It may be annoying to others, but at least it's not hurting you.

Join The Conversation
stardiva stardiva 10 years
YAY! My mom always said it would lead to big knuckles, LOL!
Surabhi Surabhi 10 years
Oh gosh I am so jeleous of you people who know how to self-adjust your bones! I can do my toes sometimes, but gosh if I could loosen up my neck, at least during headaches, not to mention by back and stuff... myself... what a dream!
JK-Boogie JK-Boogie 10 years
:? how can it not be related when arthritis is a diesese related to your joints? I think I will take advice from my doctor than believe this as I have arthritis in my toes as a result of a childhood injury
lauren lauren 10 years
Thanks fit, now I can keep on cracking!
mademoiselle2009 mademoiselle2009 10 years
oooh this is SOO great to hear! my mom has been bugging me on cracking my joints but otherwise im in complete pain. i have stiff shoulders, weak wrists and ankles but i always crack my neck, nuckles, wrists, ankles, hips, back, only for comfort though! wooo good news
jxrblue jxrblue 10 years
I love cracking my knuckles and i enjoy doing it to others too. : ) jxrblue
mschmidt mschmidt 10 years
Sweet, crack away
nycgirl nycgirl 10 years
I crack my back and my hip joints daily. Good to know it's not a bad thing. My fiance is always joking I'm going to need hip replacements by the time I'm 35.
flutterpie flutterpie 10 years
whoo hoo, im always cracking my back, my knuckles and my hips. im glad im not going to have arthritis by the time im 40 i know he thinks you're fine and stuff but does he know how to wind you up?
BlondeSugar BlondeSugar 10 years
My shoulders/knees/hips always crack when I'm exercising. :oy:
TruthLady TruthLady 10 years
That is so funny, i have a friend who is such a couch potato and everytime she kneels down or bends her knees they crack like crazy and she thought it was really bad for her and the reason was because she did not do any excersice. I just have to let her know about this great info. You will always get the Truth from me!
Moni-B Moni-B 10 years
I had a feeling that it was okay when I realized how much my chiropracter cracked my back during my sessions. ~M~
BlondeSugar BlondeSugar 10 years
I have to crack my wrists every morning. They feel like they're out of place if I don't do it.
scratch5 scratch5 10 years
Thanks fit - this is good to know. My husband wakes up and cracks all the knuckles in his hands. It drives me crazy but I also thought he was giving himself arthritis. But now I know he's not.
DStirk DStirk 10 years
This is good news but it doesnt change the way I feel about the sounds.... gives me the shivers just thinking about it.
sashak sashak 10 years
:WOOHOO: I am vindicated! I crack my knuckles, back, elbows, knees, neck, & anything else that will crack & people always looks at me like I'm nuts. I tottaly thought that this was gonna be another lecture too!
ccsugar ccsugar 10 years
This IS great news! I was always told that cracking my knuckles would make my fingers fat. I am going to keep crackin' them and keep annoying my co-workers!
SweetPeasMom SweetPeasMom 10 years
Oh good, I was really worried when I saw the title, I thought I was going to be lectured again to stop. This is GREAT news!
cravinsugar cravinsugar 10 years
HA! I love cracking my fingers, toes, neck and I have an excuse too! hahahahahaahahahahahahahah I'm all in.
audreystar audreystar 10 years
i am so glad to hear this. i have been cracking my knuckles since i was young. i thought for sure i would get arthritis before age 40.
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