By: K. Aleisha Fetters
The question: I absentmindedly crack my knuckles all the time-could I actually be doing damage?
The expert: Pedro K. Beredjiklian, M.D., chief of hand surgery at The Rothman Institute
The answer: Probably not. And thank goodness, because were you really going to stop if the answer was "yes?"
But before we explain why, here's a quick anatomy refresher: Your hands contain lots of joints, points at which two (or more) bones meet. Ligaments connect the bones to each other, and a capsule that's filled with synovial fluid (your body's natural lube) surrounds the whole joint, Beredjiklian explains.
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What you probably didn't know:
When you push or pull your fingers to crack them, what you're really doing is stretching the capsule that surrounds the joint. That decreases the pressure inside the capsule, causing gasses that were dissolved in the synovial fluid (such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and oxygen) to Read More »from Is Cracking Your Knuckles Really Bad for You?