Is Knuckle Cracking Bad for You?

Is cracking your knuckles bad for you? If so, how?
– Marco*

You may have heard people say that cracking knuckles leads to arthritis. There's no medical evidence to support that belief, but it is possible that cracking knuckles a lot over a long period of time could cause problems like swelling or reduced grip strength.

Knuckle cracking is probably a good habit to break. In addition to the chance that it might cause future problems, joint cracking can annoy other people. Why risk turning off a crush, a job interviewer, or someone you're trying to impress?

Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: April 2011

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