Category Archives: FAMILY & WELLNESS

Does Cracking Your Joints Cause Arthritis?


Some people say that doing this can actually be harmful to the joints and that this might actually lead to arthritis.


 

We all love to crack our knuckles occasionally (or even habitually). We also feel our knees pop from time to time. It actually feels good and we feel like there is an increase in our joint’s range of motion.

Some people say that doing this can actually be harmful to the joints and that this might actually lead to arthritis.

 

Can all that popping and cracking really be harmful? Or is this just another old wives’ tale?

crackknuckles01For all the aggravation that you may be causing whenever you crack your knuckles, there is no established correlation between knuckle cracking and arthritis. The same holds true for any other joint that pops, like the hip or knee.

This popping and cracking is known as crepitus. The most common cause is gas bubbles from the synovial fluid surrounding the joints being released when the joint is moved. Crepitus may also be caused when the tendons or ligaments snap over the bony structures of the joint.

The short answer is no. However, you might want to keep a close eye whenever you feel your joints cracking.

Occasional popping or cracking can be normal and is generally considered harmless. However, if it occurs regularly and is painful, it may indicate osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or patellar dysfunction. Crepitus may also be caused by certain conditions such as Chondromalacia patella, Patellofemoral Syndrome and meniscus tears. People who have regular, noticeable popping noises accompanied by pain and/or swelling are advised to consult a physician.

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There are also natural treatments for joint pains available at drugstores, health food stores and even online. Some examples are curcumin, resveratrol and Boswellia serrata. Glucosamine, sometimes found in combination with chondroitin, is also a common treatment for arthritis, along with omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish oil.