Knuckle Cracking Characteristics
Many people enjoy cracking their knuckles. Moreover, most of the time they are not even aware of performing this action since it has become their habit. Also, many develop knuckle cracking addiction while they are young, due to the interesting noise produced in the process. For older people, this procedure may give a sensation of relaxation and discomfort relief regarding the knuckle area.
If you are wondering why and how this cracking sound takes place, there is a bit of both physics and chemistry involved in the process. Namely, when we pull our fingers or apply pressure to our knuckles, they stretch further from their usual positions. This action causes the fluid which is supposed to lubricate our joints to change its physical state, becoming gas. Once, we strain the bones and the joints by pressure or pulling, the pressure inside our joints decreases, causing gas compression and the production of this sound. Additionally, once this is done, it takes about half an hour for this fluid to return to its previous state. This is why, once we crack our knuckles, or some other parts of our body, we are unable to repeat the effect shortly afterwards.
Can This Action Cause Us Problems?
Firstly, many people claim that cracking your knuckles too often may easily lead to development of osteoarthritis or some other joint diseases and conditions. However, numerous different researches have shown that this is not the case, and that knuckle cracking is unable to harm healthy joints. Nevertheless, this action may lead to muscle, cartilage or tendon damage if performed too frequently. Also, if you are already suffering from some illnesses or infections affecting these areas, it is best to restrain from knuckle cracking since this can only make things worse, triggering additional pain and swelling.
Unfortunately, the list of negative effects does not stop there. Excessive knuckle cracking may reduce the strength and intensity of your hand grip. Moreover, this action may even cause skin damage. So, if you crack your knuckles too often, the skin above them may harden and become more stiff or deformed. Finally, your general joint strength may be reduced if you enjoy this bad habit for a longer period of time.
All in all, knuckle cracking may be dangerous in the long run. Approximately, our knuckles may endure several years of abuse of continual abuse of this type before showing some more serious side-effects. That being said, be careful and avoid doing this to often in order to preserve your knuckles and keep your hand joints fully functioning.