Knuckle Cracking: Harmless Past Time or Harmful Practice

Topics: Synovial joint, Joint, Crack Pages: 2 (426 words) Published: March 20, 2012
Anatomy and Physiology
Knuckles; Joints; Cracking: Danger? The question for the ages. Philosophers, poets, prose-ers, and mathematicians alike, are all types of people who have probably not written anything about this subject. But it is a subject that has kept stocky intellectuals to the lowest knuckle-crunching buffoon, wondering, researching, and questioning since the dawn of knuckle cracking and the conception of science relating to bad mojo in joints. Among the enumerable resources, studies, and material written of knuckle cracking, it would seem most professionals agree that knuckle cracking is not indicative of negative results, including, with particular emphasis: arthritis.

Now, excluding the aforementioned articles, written by aforementioned experts, we have my grandmother. A feisty, if it at times delineated, eighty-two year-old. She spent several years as a volunteer nurse at a hospital in her hometown, and is the closest thing to a medical expert in my family. She says, “You better not crack your knuckles or they’ll fall off!” with her distinctive southern, but not too southern, drawl. She tells me she receives this notion from her mother, and that it was a common fact that cracking one’s knuckles is bad for health of joints. Her nurse, a far more reputable source, by most people’s standards, tells me there is no danger or risk in knuckle cracking. Her opinion is corroborated by countless an article, but one particular study performed by Dr. Donald Unger, sticks out.

The study, published in the 1998 edition of Arthritis & Rheumatism details how Unger cracked the knuckles of his left hand twice a day for fifty years, and those of his right sparsely and spontaneously. Dr. Unger found no differences (or arthritis) whatsoever after half a century of consistent knuckle cracking. And the truth is the physicality of it does not itself seem indicative of problems. When one cracks their knuckles dissolved gasses within the synovial joint capsule...
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