3 doctors weighed in:

What effect does cracking knuckles have? A friend of mine has large knuckles and says its because she cracked them a lot when she was younger.

3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Douglas Mund
Internal Medicine - Rheumatology

In brief: None

Cracking knuckles does not cause arthritis.
When cracking the knuckles you are forcefully extruding very small amounts of gas out of the joints.

In brief: None

Cracking knuckles does not cause arthritis.
When cracking the knuckles you are forcefully extruding very small amounts of gas out of the joints.
Dr. Douglas Mund
Dr. Douglas Mund
Thank
Dr. Michael Laccheo
Internal Medicine - Rheumatology

In brief: No negative effects

Cracking knuckles is not known to cause any kind of damage to the joints and is not a cause of large joints.
The noise you hear is air suddenly moving into the joint due to the manipulation and the sudden change of pressure because of this. The air will be reabsorbed over the next 10-20 minutes and you'll be able to crack them again.

In brief: No negative effects

Cracking knuckles is not known to cause any kind of damage to the joints and is not a cause of large joints.
The noise you hear is air suddenly moving into the joint due to the manipulation and the sudden change of pressure because of this. The air will be reabsorbed over the next 10-20 minutes and you'll be able to crack them again.
Dr. Michael Laccheo
Dr. Michael Laccheo
Thank
Dr. Pavel Conovalciuc
Family Medicine

In brief: No effect

In fact, a few articles suggest that cracking joints may be beneficial since cracking releases a salt of nitrogen that helps fight inflammation thereby protecting the joint.
True or not, I have not found any substantiated report of any damage associated with cracking joints.

In brief: No effect

In fact, a few articles suggest that cracking joints may be beneficial since cracking releases a salt of nitrogen that helps fight inflammation thereby protecting the joint.
True or not, I have not found any substantiated report of any damage associated with cracking joints.
Dr. Pavel Conovalciuc
Dr. Pavel Conovalciuc
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Adam Levy
Board Certified, Obstetrics & Gynecology
33 years in practice
1M people helped
Continue
108,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors