Biology

What Happens When You Crack Your Knuckles?

Maybe you've heard the words, "Don't crack your knuckles - you're going to give yourself arthritis!" Maybe it made you immediately stop in your tracks, or perhaps you just rolled your eyes but secretly wondered if your admonisher was right. Well, wonder no more - if you were in the latter category, you're in the clear. There has never been a case of arthritis found to be caused by knuckle cracking, even if you do it frequently.

But have you ever wondered what happens when you pop your knuckles? Bone isn't grinding on bone like many have thought - your knuckle actually cracks as a result of changing pressure in the fluid that lubricates the joints. The fluid has a thick, honey-like texture, and scientists still aren't sure if the popping noise means that a bubble is being formed in the fluid or if a bubble is literally being popped. Read on to discover the studies that have been done on this fascinating topic, and don't forget to send this to your mom if she always told you to quit cracking your knuckles!

Photo: