Do you crack your knuckles? A lot of people do. In fact, I have a hard time sitting up and stepping out of bed without my body imitating the sound of 500 mouse traps popping simultaneously. The jury’s out on whether cracking your joints is considered “safe,” but most people do it at some point or another.
Cracking your knuckles and joints has NOT been proven to be harmful. There are various studies that I’ve recently read, and rather than try to link them all here, I’ll just let y’all Google “is cracking joints dangerous” and you’ll get a bunch of articles from peer-reviewed sites that will lend their opinion.
There are different theories as to what causes joints to crack, including the release of gasses between the joints, tendons and other tissues snapping one way or another. The consensus is generally the same no matter what article you read: So long as the cracking in question doesn’t cause pain, steady discomfort, discolouration of the joints or inflammation, you’re good to go.
Depending on the study you research, you may find conflicting information, but cracking your knuckles has NOT been linked with arthritis or any associated condition. However, if any of the symptoms I provided in the previous paragraph occur, it may be a sign of some underlying pre-existing condition.
Now setting side the knuckles for a moment, what about other joints? Such as the neck? I have a nasty habit of cracking my neck, and although the practice isn’t inherently dangerous in itself, frequent neck cracking can pinch nerves and cause damage to blood vessels in the neck over time. This can lead to all kinds of nasty symptoms and conditions.
Cracking knuckles and joints isn’t inherently good or bad, but for some (such as myself) it can lend some augury of relief. If it comes to something delicate like your neck, seek treatment by a trained professional, such as a chiropractor. They’ve been medically trained to know how to alleviate the pressure that can cause discomfort in the joints, neck and back. And it’s much safer than whipping your own head around. ☯