The Biggest Science Myths Debunked

Cracking Knuckles Can Lead To Arthritis

#18 Cracking Knuckles Can Lead To Arthritis

Cracking knuckles sure is pleasurable, either due to the sound it makes or the perception of an enjoyable feeling. But one thing it isn’t: an inducer to arthritis. Knuckle cracking is a habit that many develop over time. And yet, for many, it is a nervous tick – a sign of climbing stress, that makes them occupy their hands.

The reason behind the pop has long been a mystery. Long perceived to be the collapsing of nitrogen bubbles, in a 2015 study, scientists determined a plausible reason: a sudden cavity formation and collapsing when the joints are pulled, which emits that satisfying crack. Whatever science may be behind it, knuckle cracking never leads to arthritis.

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