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2002 Pop-Goes-The-Knuckle

Pop Goes The Knuckle!

Pop Goes The Knuckle!

I'm one of those who crack my knuckles every half an hour to one hour. It gives me a weird sense of relaxation each time I do it. However, I also get a lot of "Ouch! Don't do that! It's bad!", from my colleagues, friends and family. This got me thinking- Is it really that bad? So, I did a bit of reading and this is what I found:

The cracking sound heard while cracking knuckles or popping is caused by bubbles which pop. Joints are surrounded by a thick, clear liquid called synovial fluid. When we stretch or bend joints, a space is formed causing the gases in the synovial fluid to form bubbles. When the joints are stretched to the maximum, there is a drop in pressure which makes the bubbles burst causing the ‘pop'.

There have been many talks that the habit leads to arthritis in the long run. But this is a myth. Researchers have found that cracking knuckles and arthritis have no connection. However, it was found that the grip strength of knuckle crackers was less than that of non-knuckle crackers. It also causes unnecessary friction between the joints which might not be too good for you.

Although the habit is not as bad as what everyone makes it sound, it is still not good to do it very frequently. So how do you stop this habit? Here are a few ways:

• Be aware of the habit and make an effort to stop it.
• Engage your hands in other work like drawing.
• Most people do it without even realizing. So, you can ask a friend or family member to make you aware of it, each time you crack your knuckles.

I have decided to make an attempt to stop the habit. Have you?