Knuckle Cracking

In a recent article published by the BBC, researchers have concluded that there is no absolute conclusion to the myth of arthritis and knuckle cracking!
The physiologic explanation is what I have been explaining to patients for years. Gas escapes the joint capsule, and it makes a funny noise…like a fart. “joint fart” to be more professional.
If patients insist on “cracking themselves” and their knuckles especially, I ask that they pull their finger, as if to elongate the digit. This is a distraction of the joint, and leads to less hypermobility (too much movement). Flexing your fingers (so your fingertips touch your wrist) or extending your fingers (so your nails reach back towards your forearm) hyperflexes or hyperextends the joint respectively, causing stress on the joint.