Why Do People Crack Knuckles? Is It Harmful?
Knuckling cracking is the sound produced when the joints of your fingers are stretched. These joints, called synovial joints, are lubricated by synovial fluid made up of dissolved gases – mostly nitrogen. When we pull or bend our fingers, we stretch the synovial fluid-filled capsule. This decreases pressure within the gas-filled fluid, causing a tiny nitrogen bubble to form and then instantly burst. The bursting bubble is what causes the crack that we hear.
Why Do We Crack Our Knuckles?
Cracking our knuckles causes our fingers and joints to stretch and relieve the accrued pressure. Knuckle cracking is similar to the way we stretch our body to relax the muscles. Cracking our knuckles makes the joints loose and mobile for sometime, which feels relaxing and de-stressed. This pleasant feeling is why a lot of people make it a habit.
Is Cracking Knuckles Bad For You?
No scientific proof supports the theory that cracking knuckles causes any detrimental damage to the body. So, contrary to popular belief, cracking our knuckles does not cause arthritis. However, people who crack their knuckles habitually may have swellings in the hand. Their grip strength may also suffer. And if you aren’t a habitual knuckle cracker, there’s no reason to start. It’s possible to put a little too much pressure and injure yourself.
How Do Others Feel About Our Knuckle Cracking Habit?
Cracking our knuckles annoys people around us. Habitual knuckle crackers consider the habit as a form of stress relief, although it resembles a nervous habit like biting our nails or shaking our legs while sitting.
How Can We Avoid Knuckle Cracking?
Simple exercises that stretch the hand, wrist, and forearm muscles and tendons can help relieve the frequent need to crack our knuckles. If you really want to quit the habit of cracking your knuckles, a certain level of will-power is necessary.
In short, old habits die hard. Knuckle cracking is a harmless habit that, at the most, may annoy some people. However, there are other ways to relieve your stress and infuse agility into your body. Make a sincere effort to avoid cracking your knuckles as it’s just a matter of mind over the body.
Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.