Can cracking my knuckles or my neck cause arthritis?
Cracking or popping your knuckles may be annoying to those around you, but it likely won’t cause any lasting damage to your joints. There have been numerous studies done on the subject and none have found a correlation between the knuckle-cracking habit and arthritis.
The sound from cracking your knuckles and cracking your neck is from the same mechanism, called joint cavitation. When the joint is stretched and gasses from outside the joint rush in a pop or crack can be heard (usually louder in the neck due to the proximity to the ear). Again, this popping is not likely to be associated with any higher chance of arthritis. However, it can be dangerous to force your neck to crack as this can cause muscle strains, ligament sprains, or other painful conditions in the cervical spine (neck) if you’re not careful.
If you feel that you need to crack your neck to relieve pain or stiffness, you likely could benefit from a chiropractic adjustment to help induce the correct motion into the spine and allow for a reduction in stiffness and pain. Chiropractors are skilled in manipulation of the spine, so while you may hear that familiar noise during a chiropractic treatment, the final result is vastly different from cracking your own neck.
Dr. Kauffman is a licensed chiropractor in Loveland, OH. He serves patients in Cincinnati and the areas of Mason Ohio, Lebanon Ohio, West Chester Ohio, and Loveland Ohio. Please call us today at 513-444-4529 for an appointment with your Loveland Ohio chiropractor, Dr. Kauffman.