Cracking your knuckles is one of those things everyone has heard about and most people are usually in agreement that it’s something to avoid if possible. But why? Does cracking your knuckles actually cause any harm? Or is this just another old wives’ tale that we ignore at our own peril? So, what’s the real story behind why my knuckles hurt if I don’t crack them? And does it really matter one way or the other? Cracking your knuckles isn’t going to make you more prone to arthritis, as some people fear. There’s also no evidence that it causes nerve damage or arthritis anywhere else in the body. On balance, there probably aren’t many downsides to cracking your fingers from time to time. It won’t lead to arthritis anywhere else in your body, and there don’t seem to be any lasting negative effects.
Why Do My Knuckles Hurt If I Don’t Crack Them?
- Painful knuckle cracking is most likely caused by arthritis or an injury. The pain comes from the inflammation of joints, and there are two common causes of arthritis: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when a joint becomes worn down over time, leading to damage that can eventually cause pain. Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease of the immune system that causes inflammation throughout the body, including the joints. Sometimes people with rheumatoid arthritis develop painful knuckle cracks as a secondary symptom of their disease.
- If you’ve recently injured your knuckles, cracking them could help relieve some of the pain and swelling associated with your injury. But keep in mind that this won’t work for every injury and it won’t work for every type of pain or discomfort you may feel from your injury. If you’re going to crack your knuckles anyway, it probably isn’t a good idea to break them when you hurt them in an accident or fall because breaking your knuckles can cause serious damage to the bones in your hand – even if it seems like it would help at first!
- “Knuckle cracking does not cause any harm at all; on the contrary, there is evidence that it has health benefits,” said Dr. Daniel Zylbersztejn at London’s Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital. “First, it reduces the pain by activating the nerve endings in the skin of the finger.”
- Cracking your knuckles may trigger a reflex that causes you to unconsciously move your fingers, which could cause more pain. So if you’re experiencing pain from a recent injury or other condition, try to avoid cracking your knuckles and see if that makes it better.
- Cracking your knuckles will not help with arthritis in any way, but it does make you feel better because it activates the nerve endings in your fingers and provides some relief from pain or discomfort. It’s also a way to release tension – both physical and emotional – so try cracking them when you feel tense and anxious!
What Happens When You Crack Your Knuckles?
- When you crack your knuckles, the joints in your finger become more flexible. This allows the tendon in your finger to stretch more, which reduces the pain and swelling. Cracking your knuckles also increases blood flow to the area, which helps to reduce swelling and inflammation.
- Cracking your knuckles can also cause you to unconsciously move your fingers because it triggers a reflex that causes you to unconsciously move them (see #4). In fact, there are some studies that have shown that cracking your knuckles can trigger a nerve response in some people so strongly that they even move their hands without even realizing it!
- The pain relief from cracking your knuckles may last for as long as an hour or so if you’re experiencing pain from an injury or other condition but it will wear off eventually, especially if you continue to crack them regularly. If this happens and you want to continue with the strengthening exercise and relief from pain, try not cracking them every day until you see how long it lasts for you – everyone is different!
- Cracking your knuckles will not improve arthritis symptoms, but it will make you feel better because it activates the nerve endings in your fingers and provides some relief from pain or discomfort. It’s also a way to release tension – both physical and emotional – so try cracking them when you feel tense and anxious!
Tips For Cracking Your Knuckles:
- If you’re experiencing pain from a recent injury or other condition, try to avoid cracking your knuckles and see if that makes it better.
- If you’re cracking them repeatedly, it will eventually cause your knuckle joints to become weaker and more prone to injury. This is why some people recommend only cracking them once every few weeks or so – this will help prevent this from happening!
- Some people recommend keeping a towel or cloth handy when you crack your knuckles in case you accidentally crack one too hard and hurt yourself – especially if you’re pregnant!
- Try to crack your knuckles in the morning and at night so they don’t continue to heal painlessly because this can cause them to become permanently damaged.
- If you’re cracking your knuckles before bedtime, try not to sleep on that same hand because it will wake you up in the middle of the night – you didn’t realize that your fingers were cracked the whole time!
- Avoid cracking them too hard – this can cause skin damage and lead to permanent damage if you do it often enough!
Ultimately, if cracking your knuckles causes you pain, then you should stop. If it doesn’t cause you pain, then there’s probably no harm in doing it from time to time. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that most of what we know about the effects of cracking your knuckles is based on studies conducted in the 1980s. While there’s no evidence that cracking your knuckles has any serious negative effects, we may know more about the long-term dangers of this practice in the future. In the meantime, you can rest easy knowing that there’s no evidence that cracking your knuckles will cause any serious long-term damage.
Q. Do I have to crack my knuckles on the same hand every day?
No, you can crack your knuckles on different parts of your hands. You could even break them on your elbows or wrists if you want to spread the paint around!
Q. How many times a day should I crack my knuckles?
You don’t have to crack your knuckles every day, but it’s generally recommended that for maximum benefit, you should do it at least once a day. Also, it’s best not to do it too frequently because this can weaken your knuckle joints and make them more prone to injury.
Q. Will cracking my knuckles damage my fingers?
No, cracking your knuckles will not damage your fingers or cause any permanent damage. In fact, if done properly and with respect for the body’s natural healing process, cracking your knuckles is likely to help strengthen the joints and prevent further injury in the future!