Is there a link between cracking your knuckles and arthritis in your hands? As someone who cracks her knuckles, hands wrists, and neck, I really hope not.
This is a topic that has given way to a lot of debate over the years and today, I want to look deeper into that to see if there a conclusive link between the two.
Firstly, I want to look into what arthritis is and how it can affect our hands. Secondly, what happens when we crack our knuckles, and lastly, let’s look to the experts. What are they saying about them?
Arthritis & Our Hands:
There are over 100 different kinds of arthritis and related conditions. In Ireland, around 915,000 people are living with arthritis. This makes it the single biggest cause of disability.
Many forms of arthritis can affect different parts of our hands. Some of the most common symptoms can include:
- Pitted nails
- Painful ulcers
- thickened skin than can make bending fingers more difficult
What Happens When We Crack Our Knuckles?
Usually, for most of us who are habitual knuckle crackers, there is a crack or a popping sound and while it may be pleasurable for us to hear it, there are many around us who would disagree.
- There is a cavity between all of your knuckles that is filled with a fluid called ”synovial fluid”. This lubricates your joints.
- When you stretch out your knuckles you are releasing gas and that gas forms a bubble. This bubble then collapses and pops.
- In order to crack the same knuckle again, you would need to wait around 20 mins for that same gas to bubble to return to the fluid.
What Do The Experts Say?
I looked into a study performed by a Californian Physician who reported on an experiment that he conducted on himself. Donald Unger was a self-described researcher who chose to crack his knuckles in only one of his hands for near 60 years. He didn’t crack the other. He wanted to see if cracking your knuckles would actually give him arthritis.
After 60 years of his personal experiment, he found that he didn’t have any more arthritis in one hand than in the other. Most medical sources agree with this finding.
Cracking your knuckles, shouldn’t be painful, cause any swelling or change the shape of your joint. If any of these should happen, something else may be going on, and it’s time to talk to your doctor.
If you or someone you know is living with arthritis and are looking for mobility aids in the kitchen to help make life that little bit easier. Check out the Uccello Kettle – the ideal kettle for arthritic hands.