Is Cracking Your Knuckles Bad For You?
Also Known As: popping your knuckles
Cracking your knuckles, contrary to popular belief, is not bad for you. However, it isn't necessarily good for you either.
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'N' stands for neutral. Things placed into this category are (a) neither good nor bad for you, or (b) lack the necessary evidence to reach any conclusions.
Very healthy and numerous health benefits. Side effects are rare. Things rated an 'A+' are typically necessary for survival (for example, water).
Very healthy and numerous health benefits. A few harmful qualities may be associated, but only under certain circumstances such as an allergic reaction.
Very healthy and numerous health benefits. Harmful qualities may be associated, but aren't usually serious.
It is important to note that even the best things in life can become bad in immoderate amounts. So, although something may be rated an 'A+', overconsumption/overdoing can bring unwanted effects.
Very beneficial to your health. Things rated a 'B+' may have a few harmful qualities to pay attention to.
Overall beneficial to your health. Things rated a 'B' may have some harmful qualities to pay attention to.
More beneficial to your health than not. However, harmful qualities are most likely associated and shouldn't be overlooked.
The main difference between category 'A' and category 'B' is the harmful qualities typically present in 'B' items. Serious side effects are usually uncommon, but are still possible and should be taken note of.
Both beneficial and harmful qualities associated. Things rated a 'C+' are typically a bit more on the beneficial side. Still, moderation is important.
A fairly even ratio of beneficial and harmful qualities. Moderation is important. Very general topics that can lean towards both sides of the spectrum will be placed here as well. Rice, for example, can be good or bad depending on the type.
More harmful than beneficial. Side effects are common, especially when consumed/done excessively. Moderation is very important.
Category 'C' usually denotes to both good and bad qualities. When it comes to this category, it is important to keep this word in mind: moderation.
Harmful to your health. Although benefits may be associated, the bad most likely outweighs the good. Moderation is very important.
Harmful to your health. A few benefits may be associated, but the bad outweighs the good. Moderation is extremely important.
Harmful to your health. Very few, if any, benefits are present. Things in this category should be avoided as much as possible.
Category 'D' is typically for things that are more harmful than beneficial. While consuming/doing something unhealthy once in a blue moon shouldn't hurt, we definitely recommend eliminating 'D' items as a regular part of your routine/diet.
Category 'F' is for things that fail to bring anything beneficial to the table, and are very harmful to your health. We recommend completely avoiding anything in this category. Long-term side effects of 'F' items are usually very serious.
'N' stands for neutral. Things placed into this category are generally (a) neither good nor bad for you, or (b) lack the necessary evidence to reach any conclusions.
Have you ever cracked your knuckles just to have someone tell you, "better stop that, you're going to have arthritis"? If you have, you are in for some good news. Many joints in the human body contain small gaps, or pockets, that are filled up with synovial fluid. Think of the fluid like engine oil. The oil is there to lubricate the parts and keep them smoothly interacting with one another. When you "crack" your knuckles (pull, twist, etc.), you expand the pocket between your bones. The expansion creates negative pressure that rapidly pulls in synovial fluid creating the popping noise you hear.
Now to answer the question: cracking your knuckles, for the most part, is not bad for you. Donald Unger, researcher and Nobel award winner, decided he would crack the knuckles of just one hand for 60 years. After the 60 year period, he found that there wasn't any more arthritis in one hand than the other. Other studies done specifically looked for the presence of "joint poppers" in osteoporosis patients. Those who cracked their knuckles weren't any more likely to suffer from the condition. Cracking your knuckles won't give you arthritis. The only negative thing said to result, is the loss of grip strength over a prolonged period of time.
Possible short-term side effects
Possible long-term side effects
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