NEW YORK (Reuters Health) by Megan Rauscher – Your mother always said, “Don’t crack your knuckles -you’ll get arthritis.” Well, she was dead wrong, according to a new study. The new findings show that cracking your joints is not detrimental to bone health. On the contrary, it may actually help ward off joint trouble. Dr. Tyler Cymet and colleagues from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore determined the incidence of osteoarthritis in 100 men and women whose average age was 59. They compared the incidence in those who cracked their joints and those who didn’t. Osteoarthritis occurred significantly more often in those who said they never cracked their joints. “People who said they cracked their neck, or their back, hips or knees, had less osteoarthritis than those who didn’t,” Cymet told Reuters Health. Cymet said this is the second observational study he’s conducted on joint cracking and osteoarthritis and the results are the same–osteoarthritis was more common in those who never cracked their joints. “There is no evidence,” he concludes, “that cracking your joints does any damage” and it may be protective. Cymet found that as people over 45 tended to crack their joints less often; this would contribute to less mobility and more arthritis.
WHAT IS THAT CRACKING NOISE ANYWAY??
There are a lot of theories about what makes the popping or cracking sound in joints. Cymet thinks its fluid breaking the surface tension with gas. “So if you pull gas into a joint by squeezing everything together you hear a pop or crack and that’s the fluid release,” he explained.
KEEP IN MIND…
It’s obviously more desirable to have a professional adjust the bones in the direction that your body can’t fix on its own. Those cracks that you get doing it yourself are things the body can fix anyway. It will re-set itself and in another hour you can probably crack it the same way all over again. Once an ABC doctor adjusts the ones that are stuck forward, you will have less and less of a desire to “crack yourself.”