What REALLY happens when you crack your knuckles according to a doctor

Virgin Radio

7 Mar 2022, 17:27

Credit: Getty

To crack or not to crack? That is the question. We love a bit of joint popping, but did you know it's not all it's, ahem, cracked up to be.

According to previous studies, experts have warned that clicking your bones can give you arthritis but there's another problem on the hand horizon: and that's your grip.

Posting a video on TikTok, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki explained how cracking your knuckles constantly could result in problems opening and gripping things down the line and you could lose up to 75 per cent of power.

Credit: TikTok

Talking about a study of 300 knuckle crackers over 35 years, he added: "They had no extra cases of arthritis but they had slightly swollen joints, which of itself is no big deal, and their grip strength is about about one quarter of what it should be.

"So there's no strong evidence that cracking your knuckles will give you arthritis however it could make it difficult to unscrew a jar of Vegemite."

Credit: Getty

Explaining what really happens when you hear that satisfying noise, he said: "When you pull your finger to crack the joint, you make the joint space - the space between the bones - bigger and this sucks the ligaments in and it makes a gas bubble pop into existence.

"However the energy released is only about seven per cent of what you need to damage the cartilage."