Does Cracking Your Knuckles Accelerate Osteoporosis?


This is a question that is often asked, but the sheer satisfaction of hearing the cracking of knuckles is a joy of its own. It is satisfactory especially having to hear that after a long, arduous task is finally done with. A sense of accomplishment and much like putting an invisible ‘full stop’ after you are done with work at hand.

But does the cracking of knuckles put you at immense risk of catching arthritis and osteoporosis earlier than you should? Is it something that you will have to pay dearly for later on?

Let us help you answer that question. Read on…

How Do Knuckles Crack?

The clicking and popping sound that occurs from cracking your knuckles happens as a result of tiny gas bubbles. To create the popping sound, the finger or joint is pulled away. Any of these movements can cause a sudden change in the pressure, which in turn causes the bursting of bubbles. Truth be told, it is still unclear as to whether the sound is created as a result of the bubble bursting or the bubble being formed. It takes close to 10 minutes for the bubbles to dissipate or come to their original positions. This is why you can’t do it twice in a row.

Does this cause an accelerated degenerative effect and bring osteoporosis earlier? Can this be considered as an osteoporosis risk factor?

What does Science say?

There have been mixed results, with a few saying that it can worsen the condition while others are in support that it can’t do much to you.

So the question is can I continue cracking knuckles? It is not recommended. As they say, you are better safe than sorry. Until we can get conclusive evidence on what effects this has, it is best you restrain yourself from the pleasurable pops.

Possible Changes From ‘Over-Popping’

There are a few noticeable changes that can occur as a result of cracking knuckles often. Here are some of them you may come to notice:

  • Increased swelling of the hand and joints
  • Your muscle strength is weakened and grips loosen
  • Helps in hypermobility and a larger range of motions of the joint and hands
  • There will be a change in the cartilage, which could be indicative of scarring and a higher risk of developing osteoarthritis.

With that being said, it is better you stay clear of any knuckle popping escapades, and you can be on the safer side of the fence.