Cracking knuckles has always been a subject of conversation, particularly when my kids were teenagers and were doing it for fun!?!  How many of you grew up with the fear that if you cracked your knuckles you would grow up to have arthritis? That your knuckles would get big and you would lose your strength and grip?  Well, in case you still hold that fear- fear not- there is no proof that any of this is true. My mother told me never to crack my knuckles, but I found that if I didn’t my fingers were tight and uncomfortable, not cracking was not an option, although I do try to massage my joints and stretch them often. I was so relieved to find out that there is no hard evidence to back up my mother’s (and your mother’s) fears. The sound is not something dire occurring to your bones, it is the sound of the release of pressure in the form of C02 inside the fluid sac that cradles your joint. You may have noticed that a person can only crack their knuckles once in awhile. This is because it takes awhile for the C02 to replenish itself in the joint. Arthritis is pain and inflammation of the joint and it it is not a result of joint cracking. What a relief. WikiHow does have a page on how to stop cracking your knuckles along with how to stop biting your nails and pulling your hair! They liken knuckle cracking to dislocating your shoulder, which might lead to soft tissue damage of the joint capsule. If you have lost your grip, or have swollen joints and hands, the cause might be the knuckle cracking. The question is why are you cracking your knuckles in the first place. If it is a nervous habit that you want to change then here is an interesting and thoughtful commentary from someone who also wants to break the habit.

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