You ever heard the myth that cracking you knuckles will make your knuckles big…or give you arthritis? We’ve all heard that loud “crack” or “pop” when pressing down on a finger joint and felt a sense of relief. To some, it may be relieving ,but to others the sound is simply AANNOYING! Well, here’s the truth about knuckle cracking settling the argument once and for all.
. A new study has now used a high-speed camera to watch what happens to the joint. That popping sound comes from the formation of a bubble in the fluid between two bones in the finger, it finds.
And these new data may just settle an age-old debate.
In 1947, two researchers used a series of X-rays to probe why knuckles “Crack!” Their images indicated that the sound occurs when the bones at a joint rapidly separate, forming an air bubble. It’s a process known as cavitation. Twenty-four years later, a second study looked into the issue. Using similar methods, it concluded the pop was due to some bubble in the joint bursting.
Two conflicting explanations. Both involved bubbles.
The truth: As a finger is pulled, tension mounts in the knuckle joint. Fluid rapidly accumulates there. This shows up as a white spot on the MRI picture. Suddenly, a cavity — or bubble — opens. As it does, the knuckle makes a pop. It’s much like the sound that a suction cup makes as someone pulls it off of a glass window.The joint’s bubble can last for up to 20 minutes. And until it goes away, the knuckle will not be able to crack again.
…So, there you have it… and NO, it will not cause arthritis.