Sunday, March 3, 2024

Can You Get Arthritis From Cracking Your Fingers

Negative Effects Of Cracking Knuckles:

Does Cracking Your Knuckles Cause Arthritis?
  • Cracking knuckles may cause impaired hand functions: Many studies have found that though cracking of knuckles is not linked with Arthritis, it is associated with impaired hand functions. People who go for habitual cracking of knuckles experience symptoms of impaired hand functions like lower grip strength, swelling in the area etc. It is also noted that continuous and regular cracking of knuckles can cause partially torn ligaments and dislocated fingers.
  • Cracking knuckles may grow Knuckle pads: It is also known that cracking knuckles on a regular and continuous basis for many years can cause the formation of knuckle pads. These knuckle pads are the firm nodules which are formed in the fingers due to repetitive trauma. Though knuckle pads do not have any physical symptoms, they are known to be linked with psychological and cosmetic issues.
  • Damage to the joints due to excessive Cracking of knuckles: Nothing in excess is ever good! It must be remembered that excessive cracking of knuckles on regular basis for many years can weaken the joint and make it more prone to crack and damage.
  • Study Conclusions On Whether Knuckle Cracking Causes Arthritis

    There have been a few studies over the years that considered whether or not cracking knuckles caused arthritis. One study found that there was no increase of hand arthritis among knuckle crackers, however, knuckle cracking was related to hand swelling and lower grip strength.

    Another study indicated that while knuckle cracking was not associated with arthritis, it was associated with damage to ligaments that surround the joint and dislocation of tendons. While cracking your knuckles is not linked to causing arthritis, there may be a connection to soft tissue injuries.

    A study from 2011 looked at 215 people who had a hand X-ray within the past five years. It’s interesting that 20% of them were habitual knuckle-crackers. The good news for those folks is that they were at no greater risk for hand osteoarthritis and it didn’t matter how long they had been knuckle-crackers or how often they did it each day.

    What Causes The Cracking Sound While Cracking Knuckles

    Before we go for learning about the causes for the cracking sound while cracking knuckles, let us know about something called the Synovial membrane and Synovial fluid.

    Our joint, including the knuckles are surrounded by the Synovial membrane which is a membrane forming a capsule around the ends of our bones. Synovial fluid is the fluid which remains inside the synovial membrane and acts as a lubricant and shock absorber so that your bones do not grind together while you move.

    Now, when we Crack our knuckles or any other joint holding the Synovial membrane and the synovial fluid, it expands the space present between the bones and thus creates negative pressure that draws the synovial fluid in to the new gap. The cracking or the popping sound and the feeling which one experiences while cracking knuckles is that which is caused due to the influx of the synovial fluid in to the new gap.

    Let us take a look on some of other suggested causes for the cracking sound produced during cracking knuckles.

    • The cracking or popping sound occur when there forms bubbles in joints as they are pulled apart while cracking knuckles.
    • Rapid stretching of ligaments surrounding the synovial membrane in the knuckles are believed to produce the cracking sound
    • Some suggestions also include that the within joint adhesion are broken while cracking knuckles.

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    Coping With Finger Arthritis

    It can be very difficult having a degenerative illness, because it feels like youll never get better. And while it is true that arthritis is generally not completely curable, many people learn to manage their symptoms and live perfectly happy and productive lives.

    Here are some tips for coping with arthritis:

    • Seek treatment: It can be easy to want to go it alone, but a doctor can help connect you with resources and prescribe you with medication that could be the difference between surviving and thriving.
    • Seek support from others: Ask for help when you need it from family members and friends, and if your condition is having a strong effect on your mental health, you may consider seeking out a chronic pain support group in your area.

    With support from family, friends, and medical providers, you can live your life to the fullest, and not let finger arthritis control your world.

    This Morning’s Dr Chris Gives Advice On Arthritis

    Can you get arthritis from cracking your knuckles ...

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    Arthritis is inflammation and pain that develops around a joint. Commonly affected joints include hands, spine, knees and hips.

    There is no single answer for what causes arthritis, but there are factors that may increase your risk of developing the condition.

    Previous injury, infection, smoking, and occupations which are very physically demanding, are just some of the risk factors listed by Arthritis Research UK.

    For decades, its been taught clicking or cracking your fingers or knuckles can also lead to arthritis. But is this just a myth, and what do experts have to say?

    Harvard Health says cracking your knuckles may aggravate the people around you, but it probably wont raise your risk for arthritis.

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    What Happens When You Crack Your Knuckles

    The need to pop your joints is a medical mystery. No one really knows why this phenomenon exists or its purpose. The mechanics behind joints cracking is well understood, though. A joint is an intersection where two bones connect. The human body has around 360 joints that bring bones together to form a skeleton that is able to bend and move freely.

    Joints are surrounded by a membrane full of fluid. The membrane serves to protect the bone caps from friction damage as you move. When you yank on a joint trying to pop it, you create negative space that pulls in some of the fluid. That popping sound that makes Mom cringe is the influx of that fluid.

    Will Cracking Your Knuckles Cause Arthritis

    The Department of Orthopedics noted there is no evidence that knuckle cracking causes arthritis. However, repeatedly cracking your knuckles may cause temporary soreness of the joint. Knuckles are the joints between your fingers and your hands. These joints are surrounded and lubricated by synovial fluid, a thick, clear liquid. When you crack your knuckles, youre causing the bones of the joint to pull apart. This causes a gas bubble to form in the joint. The cracking or popping sound you hear is the breaking of the adhesive seal in the joint.

    The repetitive motion of cracking your knuckles wears down the joints and their protective cushioning. This means individuals who currently have osteoarthritis, caused by the breakdown of cartilage in the joints, could worsen their symptoms by cracking their knuckles repeatedly. However, cracking your knuckles plays no role in rheumatoid arthritis, which is caused when a persons own immune system attacks their joints.

    To learn more about the personalized care provided by our doctors using state-of-the-art equipment and technology, please visit our medical services section.

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    Question: What Causes Arthritis

    Answer: There are different kinds of arthritis with the major categories being two: The inflammatory arthritides such as the rheumatoid arthritis and the degenerative arthritis best known as osteoarthritis or wear and tear arthritis. The causes for either are not well known and research focuses on elucidating the mechanisms leading to these diseases. In general a genetic predisposition is highly likely for both. For the inflammatory arthritis an unknown exposure to environmental stimuli is considered possible. For the wear and tear arthritis instead, aging and excessive mechanical stress may play a role in accelerating the damage in the joints as it happens in the knees of genetically predisposed older obese people.

    If You Crack Your Knuckles Dont Worry Too Much About Getting Arthritis But The Habit Isnt Harmless

    Does Knuckle Cracking Cause Arthritis?

    Ignoring generations of parents whove warned that knuckle cracking is bad for you, between 20 and 54 percent of Americans continue to engage in this annoying nervous habit. Many have been reassured by repeated clinical reports over the decades that there is no strong evidence that knuckle cracking causes arthritis. A 2018 Harvard Medical School blog went so far as to pronounce the practice harmless.

    Harmless is overstating it, however, argue experts who have studied the fine print of the research. Even as theres no strong link to arthritis specifically osteoarthritis, the degeneration of the cartilage cushioning the ends of bones cracking knuckles, they conclude, may still harm your hands.

    Seattle neurosurgeon Rod Oskouian is the most recent researcher to jump into this small but lively tributary of mainstream science, as co-author of a 2018 review of knuckle-cracking studies in the journal Clinical Anatomy.

    Oskouian and his three colleagues pored over 26 sometimes-contradictory papers regarding the mechanisms and effects of knuckle cracking, beginning with a 1911 German treatise titled On the Dispute About Joint Pressure. He did so, he said, after becoming fascinated by the universal inability of his students through the years to explain what makes that cracking noise.

    But that still doesnt give knuckle-crackers a pass especially not if they do it a lot and for a long time, or have a preexisting problem.

    Read Also: How To Know If You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Possible Changes In The Hand

    Research suggests people who often crack their knuckles may have:

    • More swelling in their hands7
    • A weaker grip7
    • A slightly larger range of motion in their hands8,9while this seems like a good thing, hypermobility can put a joint at risk of osteoarthritis and other injuries
    • Signs of cartilage changes in their knuckle joints that indicate possible scarring and a higher risk of developing osteoarthritis1

    Like the research regarding knuckle cracking and arthritis, the research regarding these potential effects also sometimes conflicts. For example, the same study1 that reported knuckle crackers had cartilage changes did not find they had weaker grip strength.

    Studies examining knuckle cracking tend to be small, ranging from 35 to 300 people. Also, most compare knuckle crackers and non-crackers at a single point in time. Larger, longer-term studies that measure changes in hands over time are necessary to draw more clear conclusions.

    Are There Any Negative Side Effects

    People crack their knuckles because it tends to make the joints feel looser for a little while. As of now, there is no solid evidence that cracking your knuckles will lead to arthritis later on in life. However, it may not be totally harmless either. There are some that think habitually cracking your knuckles can lead to swollen joints and a loss of grip strength. Additionally, if cracking is accompanied by any pain, there may be an underlying issue that should be checked out.

    Cracking your knuckles does not cause arthritis. However, if you are experiencing pain associated with the joints in your hands, it may be a good idea to meet with our hand specialist, to ensure there isnt a core issue.

    To visit our Hand & Wrist Center at the Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine, please request an appointment online or call at 904-825-0540.

    Dr. Lampley, MD

    A member of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Dr. Lampley specializes in minimally invasive procedures including endoscopic carpal tunnel surgery and arthroscopy of the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder.

      Independently and Privately Owned |

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    Where Do The Cracking Sounds Come From

    Does cracking your knuckles cause arthritis? You can understand the answer better if you get an idea of exactly why you hear that cracking sound. You hear the sound when you stretch your fingers and expand the joint, which in turn reduces pressure between the joint and the ligaments that connect your joint with the bone. There are different gasses like nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and oxygen dissolved in the synovial fluid. These gases form little bubbles that cover the empty spaces caused due to depressurization. Those bubbles pop as the joint settles back into place and you hear a cracking sound.

    It feels good to hear that cracking sound because you stimulate nerve endings present along the fingers when you stretch the joint. However, you cannot crack your fingers more than once in 15-30 minutes. That is mainly because those gasses take that much of time to dissolve back into the synovial fluid.

    Do the Cracking Sounds Need to Be Treated?

    You usually need no treatment for joint cracking and popping because no chronic health issues are associated with it. There are many myths associated with this though. Some people believe it can cause arthritis, and others say you can prevent these sounds by taking supplements or doing specific exercises.

    When to Worry

    Can Cracking My Knuckles Really Cause Arthritis

    50 Misleading Anatomical Facts

    You may have heard that cracking your knuckles can cause arthritis. But that’s a myth. Cracking your knuckles isn’t exactly good for youthough it may feel good. If it’s is as natural to you as breathing, you may want to consider ditching the habitespecially if it produces pain.

    Read Also: Is Red Meat Bad For Rheumatoid Arthritis

    How To Stop Cracking Your Knuckles

    If you are willing to know about some of the ways to stop cracking your knuckles then this is the section you need to take a look on for some of the relevant and effective tricks.

  • Get in to Behavioural Therapy to Help Stop Crack Knuckles: Cracking of knuckles in most cases is a behaviour which can be changed or stopped by Behavioural therapy. You can reach a specialist in behavioural therapy and get over the habit of cracking knuckles by following his or her advice accordingly.
  • The Rubber Band Effect in Treating Cracking Knuckles: Tying a rubber band in the fingers and allowing the band to release and hit over the skin of your finger can be effective when done during the time you feel like cracking your fingers.
  • Keep your hands busy for distracting the urge of cracking your knuckles: You can stop the cracking of knuckles by keeping your hands busy in something else when you feel like cracking knuckles. One example would be holding a pen or a pencil and trying to move or rotate it with your fingers. Why not practise this magician trick? You can do it in a better way and for good.
  • Adopt a new hobby that keeps your fingers engaged to stop cracking knuckles: Be a creator! One of the most positive ways to get over cracking your knuckles is, adopt a new hobby like painting, drawing or writing which involves the use of your fingers. This way you can ignore your habit of cracking knuckles and create something new of your own. It really is amazing to have own creation you know!
  • Q: Does Cracking Your Knuckles Lead To Arthritis

    A: Maybe you do it out of habit, or as a way to release tension. But if youre a regular at cracking your knuckles, youve probably heard that cracking your knuckles will enlarge them or cause arthritis in your joints. Is there any truth to this?

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    Turns out, this is an old wives tale. Habitual knuckle-cracking wont cause osteoarthritis or joint enlargement.

    Cracking your knuckles releases gas, in the form of nitrogen bubbles from the space around your joints. The sound is triggered as the bubbles are compressed. Researchers arent sure if the sound emitted from cracking your knuckles is that of gas bubbles being formed or released. But its just gas, nonetheless.

    That said, the sound can make some people cringe. And a 1999 study found weaker hand grips and more hand swelling among knuckle-crackers.

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    Knuckle Cracking: Annoying And Harmful Or Just Annoying

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    Knuckle cracking is a common behavior enjoyed by many. It can become a habit or a way to deal with nervous energy some describe it as a way to “release tension.” For some, its simply an annoying thing that other people do.

    If youve ever wondered why stretching the fingers in certain ways causes that familiar noise or whether knuckle cracking is harmful in some way, read on. Despite how common it is, there has been considerable debate regarding where the noise comes from. Fortunately at least for those of us who are curious about it knuckle cracking has been the subject of a fair amount of research.

    Taking Care Of Your Joints

    Can You Get Arthritis From Cracking Your Knuckles?

    The best thing you can do is to avoid stress on your hands and pay special attention to protecting the joints that cause any problem. While it will never be possible to avoid painful activities completely, you can still make minor changes to keep pain under control. You may want to try some exercises to keep your hands strong and young. For instance:

    1. Open and Close

    Keeping your fingers together, hold your hands up in the air and then spread your fingers apart as gently as possible. Hold this posture for a few seconds and then return to the starting position. Repeat the same 10 times.

    2. Fist Flex

    Start with your hands in an upright position and your fingers apart. Slowly close your fingers together and make a fist but keep your thumb on the outside. Hold this position for a few seconds and then open your fingers once again. Keep in mind that you should never clench or squeeze your fist. Repeat 5-10 times for good effects.

    3. Thumb Circles

    Keep your hands in the “thumbs-up” position and then slowly rotate your thumb in circle. Change directions after a few seconds.

    4. Tip Touch

    With your hands in an upright position, spread your fingers apart. Starting from your little finger, slowly touch your thumb with the tip of every finger. Open your hand back up after touching one finger and then start again.

    5. Wrist Rotate and Flex

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