Is cracking your knuckles bad for you?
You may have been told as a kid cracking your knuckles is bad for you. But the truth is, it’s harmless, and won’t cause arthritis or make your knuckles bigger.
Orthopedic hand surgeon Dr. Jason Somogyi explains to Insider that your knuckles are two bones connected together by a joint capsule. That capsule is filled with fluid to prevent the bones from rubbing against each other. When you crack your knuckles, you’re pulling the bones slightly apart, which changes the pressure in the joint capsule. “This change in pressure causes the formation of a gas bubble which causes the audible crack,” Somogyi says. “The short term change in pressure in each joint you crack is unlikely to have any negative impact on the cartilage of the joint,” Somogyi says.
If you feel pain when cracking your knuckles or notice your knuckles are increasing size, it could mean you are experiencing other medical issues. Dr. Somogyi recommends talking to your doctor if you notice pain, swelling, or grinding in your knuckles, regardless if you crack your knuckles.