Do you crack your knuckles when you sleep? If you’ve been doing it since you were a kid, then you’re probably not alone. It’s a long-held superstition that it’s bad for your joints, but does it actually cause arthritis?
Cracking Our Knuckles — Arthritis Truth or Joke?
For many, cracking a knuckle is an annoying habit, but do you know why you do it? And how can it lead to osteoarthritis, a serious joint disease? Some reasons you might crack knuckles are a habit or stress or a genetic predisposition that makes it harder for your joints to cope with stress.
The medical community is still divided about the impact of cracking knuckles, as there is no conclusive evidence that it causes arthritis. Other links between knuckle cracking and arthritis have been observed, but there are no definitive studies that have documented a direct connection between the two.
Whether you crack your knuckles, roll your ankle, or break your arm at the gym, you probably know that this act can cause pain and potential joint damage. But did you know that it can also lead to arthritis?
Cracking It Might Be a Bad Idea for You
The pain and inflammation that settles in your joints after a few years of cracking your knuckles are not just caused by the act of cracking them. Your body builds up a tolerance to the repetitive pressure, and it results in a condition that can lead to arthritis.
Some studies suggest that chronic repetitive stress at the joints can lead to arthritis, yet other studies are inconclusive. But what’s indisputable is that you can’t crack your knuckles without causing at least a mild case of arthritis, which could potentially be minimized by avoiding those little pops–but what to do if you really can’t stop knuckle cracking?
What is Knuckle Cracking?
“Knuckle cracking” is a relatively common condition, especially among people who do a lot of typing or other computer-related activities. The most obvious symptom is cracking the knuckles as much as possible while performing a repetitive action. However, two other symptoms can appear during long-term cracking, and they are pain and joint inflammation.
The “knuckle crack” is the way we relieve stress and tension, and it’s most common amongst knuckle-heads such as myself. Whether it’s the stress of a job interview or the more severe case of depression, the knuckle crack provides a quick and effective release of stress during times of need. It’s a natural reflex, and in most cases, can’t be stopped. But, can it really cause arthritis? And if it does, is there a way to stop it?
As stated above, there are no definitive studies that have documented that knuckle cracking can cause arthritis. But it doesn’t advise that you can continue cracking your knuckles. So, as much as possible, if you can stop doing it, the better. If, in the long run, doing this cracking knuckle thing will cause you to joint inflammation or pain, well, don’t blame it on science because it is clearly your fault.
Can You Avoid Arthritis?
Arthritis is a very common disease that affects millions of people worldwide. The condition causes pain in your joints, sometimes also affecting your bones and muscles, debilitating over time. There are many treatment options available, including medications and physical therapy, but there are other ways you can prevent and treat arthritis.
So, can you avoid getting it?
Yes, it’s possible. You can meet the recommended daily intake of vitamin D by simply eating a balanced diet, and you can do it with no risks to your health. Just a few generations ago, children everywhere routinely received sufficient amounts of vitamin D in their diets from exposure to sunlight. Light is a known and powerful way to boost vitamin D levels in your body, and in the last few decades, we’ve all become much more exposed to sunlight. As a result, many of us have insufficient levels of vitamin D in our bodies.
We are all sure that some of you have heard that cracking your knuckles or popping them loudly can make you more likely to develop arthritis later in life. However, this is more of a myth than a real thing. To be more specific, the idea that cracking your knuckles will cause arthritis is not only untrue, but it’s a really unhealthy myth, to begin with. So, while there are no definitive studies as well as a documented case about it, it is still best to avoid cracking your knuckles as much as possible. Whether it causes arthritis or not, taking care of one’s health will help you avoid this disease in your old age.