Cracking your knuckles is an addictive nervous habit. Some say it has serious consequences. Moms warn their kids not to crack their knuckles, for fear it will cause arthritis. Does cracking your knuckles really cause arthritis? I find it hard to believe. Nevertheless, for the sake of argument, I decided to look it up. So, does cracking your knuckles really cause arthritis? Is that even logical? Here’s what my research turned up.
Believe it or not, the best study on knuckle cracking comes from someone who cracked his knuckles purposefully for sixty years. Dr. Donald Unger cracked the knuckles of his left hand over and over for sixty years. The results? No arthritis in either hand. So, apparently, cracking your knuckles has no effect on arthritis, one way or another. Or maybe, Dr. Unger just wasn’t susceptible to arthritis.
I’m not sure about Osteoarthritis but I do know that rheumatoid arthritis runs in families. How do I know this? Because it runs in my family. I have rheumatoid arthritis. Likely, if I cracked my knuckles repeatedly for sixty years, my arthritis would be worse. Why? Unusual repetitive action worsens arthritis. On the other hand, keeping in shape keeps it from worsening. Is cracking your knuckles considered unusual activity or regular exercise? Food for thought, I guess.
Cracking your knuckles may not cause arthritis but it can cause other injuries. Like what? Well, knuckle cracking strains the ligaments in your fingers. That can lead to ligament damage. Knuckle cracking can even cause your fingers to dislocate. So, does this cause rheumatoid arthritis to attack the injured finger? Oh, you didn’t know about that?
About Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is a strange sort of condition. Those who have it will try their best to avoid other injuries. Why? If you have rheumatoid arthritis and injure yourself, the condition acts in a strange way. It actually attacks the injured body part, making matters worse. So does knuckle cracking give you arthritis? No, but the surprise conclusion of my research and personal experience is, knuckle cracking can worsen arthritis if you already have it.