There is nothing quite as satisfying as hearing someone crack their knuckles, whether background noise or the sound of nails on a blackboard.
Many of us are acquainted with the cracking sound and sensation that occurs when we crack our knuckles, whether for comfort or as a nervous habit. While engaging in this habit may be enjoyable, overdoing it can negatively affect your hands’ health.
What Are Knuckles?
The term “knuckle” is frequently used to refer to the joints in the hands and fingers. The MCP, or metacarpophalangeal joint, is a typical joint that individuals frequently break. Some people have fingers that are cracked at every joint. However, the hands and fingers have many joints. Ligaments link the bones of those joints and provide motion.
A joint capsule also connects the joints. The capsule is a sealed area between the joint surfaces that houses synovial fluid, a lubricant. As the joint moves with exercise, the lubricant enables smooth motion. Additionally, it provides nutrients to nourish the joint surfaces.
What Happens When You Crack Your Knuckles? What Causes The Cracking Sound?
The quickest response is that knuckle cracking triggers a reaction inside the joint. The lubrication for the joint is kept in the joint capsule. However, the capsule’s tight design prevents the lubricant from escaping. The capsule’s lubricant is a viscous, thick substance.
It can create tiny bubbles of nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide gasses as it travels inside the capsule. The joint capsule extends when you abruptly pull, stretch, or flex a finger joint, and those bubbles may burst. This is what makes the sound like its “cracking.”
What Are The Effects Of Cracking Knuckles? Does It Cause Arthritis?
Contrary to what many people think, knuckle cracking is not a factor in the onset of arthritis. However, carrying it out incorrectly or with excessive force might harm your hands.
The knuckles, or metacarpophalangeal joints, are where your fingers connect to the rest of your hand. Even though these joints are extremely secure, they can become dislocated if enough external pressure is applied. Usually, the index and pinky fingers are impacted.
Ligaments are tissues that link your bones together where a joint is located. Sprains occur when supporting ligaments get overstretched or torn due to twisting, being struck, or other trauma. You can experience a snapping or tearing feeling when your finger is sprained.
How to Avoid Cracking Your Knuckles?
Here are some tips to help you quit the habit:
- Consider the causes of your knuckle-cracking and deal with any underlying concerns.
- Identify a different stress-relieving technique, such as deep breathing, exercise, or meditation.
- Use alternative stress-relieving activities for your hands, including squeezing a stress ball or massaging a worry stone.
- Become aware of every time you snap your fingers and force yourself to stop.
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