Does Cracking Your Knuckles Cause Arthritis?

ABC News Healthbusters

Some do it as a nervous tick. Others like the sound. Still others find it to be a form of stress-relief. But does cracking your knuckles now, mean you are doomed to suffer from arthritis later?

Despite warnings from your grandparents that you’ll suffer a life of arthritis if you sit around cracking your knuckles, this myth is busted.

“Here’s what really happens,” Dr. Debbie Yi, an Emergency Medicine and Neurology physician at the Hospital of UPenn says. “When you crack your knuckles you are actually just expanding [the] joint capsule.”

While we wouldn’t recommend you sit around passing the time by cracking your knuckles, Dr. Yi says, “It’s never ever been proven in research that knuckle cracking actually causes arthritis.”

Case cracked.