Many people have a nasty habit, or, rather, addiction, of cracking their knuckles. This, seemingly pointless and harmless action, can lead to serious health problems in the long run. Most of us pick up on this habit once we see it from our parents or some adults during our childhood. Then, we start cracking our knuckles whenever we have a chance, feeling relieved once we hear the popping sound.
Why Do Our Knuckles Pop?
Surely, this relaxation can take place after we apply pressure on our knuckles, releasing the sound. Still, it is not our bones that pop during the process. Rather, the inside of our knuckles is filled with a specific lubricant, helping these parts of our body to function smoothly.
When we bend our fingers, this expands the lubricant capsules in our knuckles, decreasing pressure and triggering the formation of bubbles in the fluid. Thus, once these bubbles burst, we hear the popping sound we like so much.
Good or Bad?
In the long run, knuckle cracking may easily evolve into knuckle pain and stiffness, leading to discomfort. This can happen if you damage the ligaments and gentle tissues in the area, due to constant cracking. Thus, it is best for you not to do this too often.
Even though knuckle cracking, contrary to popular belief, cannot lead to arthritis, certain damage and subsequent problems with joints can occur.
How to Stop the Dangerous Habit?
Once you decide to stop cracking your knuckles repeatedly, you may face a harder task than you expect. Some people feel restless when resisting their knuckle cracking temptation. Nevertheless, you need to stay focused and strong, never surrendering to your desires to hear the popping sound once more. Alternatively, when the cravings take place, stretch your fingers a bit, along with your hands. This is a healthy alternative which can help you get your mind at ease.
If you do not manage to stop cracking your knuckles, even after trying in the previously mentioned manner, you are advised to seek medical attention. Your doctor will examine the area and prescribe adequate treatment, preserving your joints, ligaments and other important parts of your knuckles. Sometimes, calcium supplements can help.
All in all, knuckle cracking is not deadly. Still, you should not take it lightly and go overboard with practicing it, since the results of your addiction can be quite painful and more than disturbing. Thus, keep your knuckles healthy and resist this habit, having these parts of your body serving you well for years to come.