Are you guilty of cracking your knuckles (your fingers or toes)? There are many different reasons people crack their knuckles, some people like the feeling and say it relives pressure. For others it is a habit or something that they do when they are nervous or bored. Whatever the reason the question remains the same, does all this popping and cracking cause arthritis?
When you crack or pop your fingers or toes you are applying pressure to the joint, the joint then becomes separated. Pressure from within the joint is released, which causes the synovial fluid in the joint to release gases. The gases move into the joint to make the “pop” or “crack” sound. It’s like an air bubble in your synovial fluid (the fluid that gathers in the cavities of your digits and joints) Once you have cracked your knuckles it usually takes awhile before you can crack them again, that is because the gases have to build back up in the joint space.
There have been many studies done to see if there is a correlation between cracking or popping your knuckles and arthritis in your fingers. The majority of these studies do NOT show that cracking your knuckles can cause and increase in arthritis.
Even though the studies did not show that cracking or popping your knuckles can lead to arthritis in your finger or toes it can cause other problems in your joints. It can lead to a slightly weaker grip strength. Playing golf, baseball, or even squeezing a tennis ball may become more difficult with time.