Remember being warned against cracking your knuckles back in childhood? The explanation: Cracking knuckles can cost you arthritis. Is this true? Are knuckle crackers really prone to develop arthritis?

Here’s the fact!

 doctor looking at patient wrist=
Well, the fact is, they aren’t! Cracking knuckles will lead to arthritis is an old wives’ tale and not true.

Popping noises you make while cracking your knuckles may not be a very good habit or may irritate people around you. But, it certainly has nothing to do with an increased risk of you falling prey to arthritis. It is the gas bubbles bursting in your joints space, which make those pop sounds.

This intentional practice seems to convey that you want to relieve stiffness and tiredness; or may be you are bored, nervous, impatient, or distracted. But it is not likely to damage your joints. And this is proven after numerous comparative studies done among habitual knuckle crackers and the ones who don’t. Researchers found no such difference in the occurrence of arthritis between these two categories.

Arthritis can occur because of a variety of reasons ranging from your age, genes, infections, etc. Cracking knuckles that trigger or accompanies pain, however, can be a sign of an underlying wound. A few medical literature do say that a habitual cracking over several years may cause temporary soreness, swollen hands, and reduced strength of your grip.  This occurs because of mechanically loosening of your joint structure.

Long story short, cracking knuckles is neither harmful nor beneficial. You might think of putting your habit on hold for some good reasons but arthritis!

For any query related to joint pain and bone health, consult a Rheumatologist at

About the Author

Mansi Mishra

Mansi is an avid reader, a professional content writer, and an editor with 6 years of experience in creating health and lifestyle content.

3 + 5 + 5 =

Recent Questions