Finger Cracking: What Really Happens When You Crack Your Fingers?

The noise you hear when cracking your fingers is caused by a sudden release of gases from the joints. This is not dangerous, as long as it is done correctly.



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Finger cracking gives intense relief to the person doing it, and sometimes is embarrassing for those around him. Finger cracking is a simple gesture, but the subject of many rumors. Some believe that it can cause arthritis and that it damages joints.

What really happens when you crack your fingers?

Cracking your fingers makes a  clicking sound that is perfectly normal because the action releases gas in the form of nitrogen bubbles around the joints. Researchers don’t however know if the sound you hear when joints crack is the result of the formation or release of gas bubbles. But either way, it’s just unharmful gas.

does finger cracking cause osteoarthritis?

The idea still persists that finger cracking is responsible for the development of osteoarthritis in the joints.

Osteoarthritis a condition often related to aging is caused by damage to the cartilage in the joints. It often affects 80% of people over 80.

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This disease causes progressive destruction of joint cartilage. It is painful and makes daily activities difficult, and as of now, there is no cure for it.

For many years, researchers have proven this popular myth false. In particular, a 2017 study that compared the fingers of people who cracked their fingers often with those who did not. There was no difference in grip strength between those who did and those who didn’t the study showed. This same study found a difference in the thickness of cartilage in the carpal bone head, which may indicate osteoarthritis, but did not suggest that cracking the joint was the cause. Also, another study that was, published in 2011, that looked at the effects of years of finger cracking showed that the amount of joint cracking and its duration over time did not affect osteoarthritis risk. In fact, there are few, if any, long-term side effects associated with this action.

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what are the risks of cracking your fingers?

There are several ways to crack your finger joints, and some are not recommended. Don’t pull or push too hard and be careful with the direction. If it causes pain, it is because the action was not appropriate. If the finger becomes swollen or twisted, it is advisable to consult a doctor because it may be an injury to the ligaments.




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