T Nation

Cracking Your Knuckles


Hey guys im wondering what acually happens when you crack your knuckles or anything or that matter. I can crack my neck back and knuckles. What does it mean, is it bad?




Everyone says you will get athritis from them.




(cracks knuckles)


I asked a Chiropractor and he told me that it was fine.


Ever since I started weightlifting an uncomfortable feeling builds up in my knuckles until I crack them. Oh well.




I crack my knuckles CONSTANTLY!

It won't cause arthritis. All it does is release the air that has built up between the joints which is what makes the popping sound.


(cracking neck)
(cracking left shoulder)
and (ankles)

It is just something I can do. Docs have said there is nothing to worry about. More precisely they say if it does not hurt then you are all right. If you feel pain then something else is wrong. Joint popping is natural.

The cracking sound (sorta like muted rice krispies) in my knees scares me some times when I climb stairs but I have been told it is normal.


Everyone thinks a strenuous hour-long walk on the treadmill followed by thousands of sit ups and lots of gatorade will give you a six pack.


I don't crack knuckles, I crack faces.


Most likely is crepitus, and isnt harmful in the long run. Make sure you crack them in line with the movement of the finger. Dont crack them to the side, as ligaments and tendons can get lax over time.


You mean it doesn't?


haha true, as far as cracking knucles its jsut something your parents say to you forever.


If you had free-floating air in your joints you would be in trouble. I believe it release the nitrogen, not air. But I don't think anyone really knows. That is just a theory.


I read a study about it a while ago, they decided that it doesn't cause arthritis but it DOES temporarily reduce grip strength.


You're absolutely right! I meant nitrogen but I just got lazy and typed "air". Sorry! :wink:


No problem.

I find that cracking knuckles, or any other joint for that matter, seems to be a destructive cycle. Your joints get stiff, so you crack them. That feels better. Then your joints seem to get stiff more quickly, so you crack them again. And on and on until you need to crack them often.

What I have found is that if you can not crack them for a while and just endure the stiffness, the joints will get better on their own and will not need to be cracked. And overall they will feel better. While cracking gives temporary relief, in the long run I do not think it is a good practice.


My doctor told me it might cause the finger joints to get a bit bigger is this true? I know mine are.