Investigation: Is Cracking Your Knuckles Bad for You?


"Skeleton Hand" by Zachariah Hale is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Audrey Bortner, Writer

Have you ever been told that cracking your knuckles is bad for you? Does it cause arthritis?  What makes the popping sound?

According to healthline, not many studies about cracking your knuckles have been done. But those that have show that it isn’t harmful and doesn’t cause arthritis. 

In fact, one scientist even did an experiment that lasted 50 years where he cracked his knuckles on his left hand about 2 times more than he did his right hand, and at the end of the experiment neither of his hands had arthritis.

But the real question is what causes the popping sound? According to the previous source, the popping noise comes from nitrogen bubbles collapsing in between joints, but it is unclear why joints make a noise when pulled apart. 

So, if you crack your knuckles don’t worry about it; around 54% of Americans crack their knuckles! Just make sure that you don’t dislocate anything, and remember that you’re probably grossing some people out.