Is cracking your knuckles bad?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Matthew_84, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. Because it seems I have to do it more and more often. I've heard things like it causes athritis and things like that and I'm curious if there's any weight to it, or if it's and old wive's tale.

    I must say my knuckles have gotten larger, and I'm not sure if it's a product from cracking my knuckles, or just from wear-and-tear and I crack my knuckles to help them out.

  2. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    I vote not bad.
  3. bluesblaster


    Jan 2, 2008
    stop it
  4. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    If its bad, then I should have already lost the use of my hands. Because I crack every knuckle I have at least 1000 times a day :D
  5. HalfPlayer


    Jun 9, 2013
    Its not because all it is the gas that gets in the crevasses of your fingers and when you pop them the gas escapes.
  6. hover


    Oct 4, 2008
    The "crack" or "pop" is the release of *gas* within the joint.
    Doing it probably doesn't cause arthritis, but if you hyper extend your fingers to do said cracking, you could damage the ligaments in your joints.
  7. Batmensch


    Jul 4, 2010
    Media, PA.
    It doesn't appear to have affected me any, and I've been doing it as long as I can remember.
  8. Toptube


    Feb 9, 2009
    It's generally considered ok, if it doesn't hurt.
  9. JPMo


    Dec 27, 2010
    Canton, Ga
    I don't know if it's good or bad but I used to have to crack my jaw. The more I did it, the more I had to, so one day I decided to just stop! Now I'm not sure if my body has just adapted and desensitized the cracking sensation or if it actually went away but I haven't felt the urge to crack my jaw since. So my advice is to stop doing it. :)
  10. Yeah, I'm thinking I'll try to stop. Truthfully, my fingers are more nimble afterwards, but my knuckles are larger and I feel like it may be the culprit. I have read that it does not cause arthritis, but excessive cracking can cause ligament and tendon displacement which can cause the body to add bone to the area to repair it.

    I've also read from a few people that once they stopped the need to crack them went away over time. We'll see, I'll keep you posted. Thanks everyone
  11. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Been doing it for 30+ years and my hands are fine. Did it the whole time I was doing 7+ gigs a week for over a decade. Over 40 now and my hands are still fine.
  12. rapidfirerob

    rapidfirerob Fusion rules!

    Better than scraping them on the ground. Just saying. :)
  13. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008

    Cracked my knuckles for decades. No problems noted. Somewhere along the way the repetitive nature of it kinda went away.
  14. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    Osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear, rheumatoid arthritis is a response to something by the immune system. I asked an orthopedic surgeon about this and he said it's OK, as long as it doesn't hurt during/after.
  15. Demon_Hunter


    Jun 8, 2008
    According to the Great Oz of the Internets, you know, Wikipedia,

  16. I think it could be bad I had this happen a while back, I was cracking my knuckles before a gig and was approached by a large biker dude who asked me to stop because that sound drives him f'ing nuts and he just wants to smash someone's [email protected]#$% face so in that sense it could have caused facial injuries so I stopped doing it at least in public.
  17. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass Supporting Member

    May 10, 2006
    I've done it for years. My playing technique is better than ever! (Probably no causal relationship other than pissing off people nearby when the crackin' happens.)
  18. ProgRocker


    Mar 25, 2011
    There are many theories ranging from: "It's harmless" to "It can lead to arthritis." I do it occasionally, sometimes my knuckles crack just from closing my hands (usually first thing in the morning). Also my neck, elbows, knees, and occasionally ankles crack.

    Heh, I'm the wreck of Hesperus.
  19. NeverIsNow


    Jun 25, 2013
    I do it all the time, and my hands are fine.
  20. Saxn


    Oct 23, 2010
    Nashville, GA
    I'm another that does it all the time. I did a little digging a while back and it seems that the research so far says no - it will not cause arthritis, but there is a possibility that it COULD weaken your hand grip over time.