This is a staple passed down by grandmothers everywhere, that cracking your knuckles will give you arthritis. Sure, it’s annoying to hear, especially if the crack-er is loud and the crack-ee isn’t fond of such sounds, but is it harmful to crack your knuckles?
When knuckles are cracked, the cracking noise are bubbles bursting in the synovial fluid that helps lubricate joints, but it is not known to be really harmful. On the other hand, it is also not known to be beneficial either.
There have been some studies that show chronic knuckle crackers can eventually end up with a reduced grip strength compared to people who did not crack their knuckles. But there is no evidence to show that cracking knuckles causes osteoarthrosis.
What causes arthritis then? Once believed to simply be the result of wear and tear, more recent science has shown osteoarthritis (arthritis) to be a disease of the joints.
Factors that medical professionals believe to be contributors include genes, injuries to joints, tendons or ligaments and weight. Being overweight has shown to add additional pressure to areas such as hips and knees, which, over years, can cause cartilage to wear down.