Doctor reveals what happens when you crack your knuckles too much

Doctor reveals what happens when you crack your knuckles too much
Doctor reveals what happens when you crack your knuckles too much

It's not uncommon for many of us to crack our knuckles.

But according to a doctor, cracking your knuckles often could potentially cause some difficulties.

Dr Karl Kruszelnick, the author behind Dr Karl's Surfing Safari Through Science, took to his TikTok account to discuss the topic.

"Have you heard people say, 'cracking your knuckles will give you arthritis?' Well, when you pull on your finger to crack your join, you make the joint space, the space between the bones bigger, and this sucks the ligaments in and makes a gas bubble pop into existence," he said.

"However, the energy release is only about 7 per cent of what you need to damage the cartilage," he added before referencing other arthritis studies.

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Dr Karl noted that one study centered around a doctor cracking "the joints of his left hand for 50 years".

But there was no difference between arthritis in either hand, nor was one person a good enough sample size.

"Another study looked at 300 people who cracked the knuckles on both hands for 35 years and guess what? They had no extra cases of arthritis, but they had slightly swollen joints, which of itself is no big deal, and the grip strength was about one-quarter of what it should have been," Dr Karl said.

Towards the end, he added that there isn't strong enough evidence that cracking knuckles would cause arthritis, but it "could make it difficult to unscrew a jar of Vegemite."


Does cracking your knuckles cause arthritis? Post your questions in the comments and if you want more science, head to my podcasts! #drkarl #science

People took to the video's comments to express how they couldn't wait to share the news with others and prove their mums wrong.

"Thank you for the clarification to those people who need it now I can prove it to everyone," one wrote.

"Brb showing this to my mum to finally prove her wrong," another added.

A third asked: "Are there things you can do to increase grip strength to counteract it?" which prompted Dr Karl to respond with: "I **think** that regular hand exercises will increase your hand strength."

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