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Should you crack your knuckles?

If you have ever been chastised for cracking your knuckles, take heart! This common habit will not destroy your hands. In fact, it may help your fingers feel a sense of relief.

“There’s a common misconception that if you crack your knuckles, you’re going to develop arthritis,” says Mala Kaul, M.D., a rheumatologist at Piedmont. “But the truth is, you won’t.”

What happens when you crack your knuckles?

“When you crack your knuckles, you’re basically releasing air out of the joints,” Dr. Kaul says.

Between the joints in your fingers lies a cushioning fluid called synovial fluid that allows your fingers to move in different directions without causing any pain. Air bubbles can form in this fluid, and when you crack your knuckles, the popping sound is caused by the collapse of those air bubbles.

Can cracking your knuckles be dangerous?

Cracking your knuckles shouldn't cause any health issues, but if you develop any pain or joint swelling it’s best to stop the popping and consult your doctor.

For more health and wellness tips, check out our blog

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