The Biggest Risks Associated With Popping Your Knuckles

Woman in her late 60s cracking her knuckles while sitting at her computer desk
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Stop before your next pop!

Risks of Popping Your Knuckles

Once we pop, we can't stop.

In this case, we're not talking about eating Pringles, but rather cracking our knuckles.

When we need to give the joints in our hands a little love and appreciation for all the hard work they've done, we give them a squeeze and feel the relief radiate through our fingertips.

It turns out, popping our knuckles really isn't as harmless as it seems. Though the act brings us great comfort, it's more damaging than we would've ever suspected.

Scroll below to discover all the risks that come with cracking your knuckles:

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Hand Swelling

While plenty of scientific studies have proven cracking your joints doesn't cause arthritis, there are plenty of other risks; one of them being hand swelling later on in life. A study of 300 habitual knuckle poppers proved this to be true, when a majority of them noticed functional hand impairment.

Lower Grip Strength

The same study that concluded constantly cracking one's knuckles can lead to hand swelling also proved it can lower one's grip strength. Your hands may seem strong and agile now, but that won't always be the case if you continue to pop them.

Knuckle Pads

Knuckle pads, as defined by Medscape, are "benign, asymptomatic, well-circumscribed, smooth, firm, skin-colored papules, nodules, or plaques, located in the skin over the dorsal aspects of the metacarpophalangeal (MCP) and interphalangeal (IP) joints."

There are no physical symptoms, they can have psychological and cosmetic effects. And, you guessed it, knuckle popping plays a role in this.

What If You Can't Stop Cracking Your Knuckles?

Even after hearing the risks associated with popping your knuckles, what if you can't help but crack them? Well... you might actually be fine. Hand surgeon Dr. Sanj Kakar ensures habitual knuckle crackers that you really don't have much to worry about.

So if you want to keep cracking, do it. But if you're terrified about your hands swelling or losing your grip strength, then stop.

Keep the Conversation Going

Do you crack your knuckles often? Have any bad experiences because of it? Tweet us @womendotcom or message us on Facebook!