Does cracking joints cause arthritis?

Posted Mar 22, 2021 at 10:27

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A question we are often asked in the clinic is "does cracking my fingers cause arthritis?"

The type of arthritis people are referring to is Osteoarthritis or "wear and tear". The features of this develop over a long period of time and often present as stiffness, swelling, loss of function, weakness and pain.

The simple answer is yes and no!

Let's start with the 'no' part.

No, joint cracking is a natural physiological phenomenon denoted by a build up of gas suddenly being released from a joint, making a pop noise as it does.

However, there can be an issue with this if the joints are released far too often or not done in a safe way.

Too often would be several times every day.

Cracking the joints in wrong directions or forcefully would risk injury to the stabilising ligaments and joint capsule (the tough bubble surrounding & containing the joint). Joints with injured or overstretched ligaments, wear quicker, not good!

So should I crack my fingers?

Should you let a chimpanzee fly a passenger aircraft?

But what about when chiropractors do it?!

This contrasts to chiropractic adjustments in the way that they are applied to specific joints, in a specific direction, with a specific intention and a specific force by someone who has had thousands of hours of training; designed to have a nervous system enhancing effect to optimize function and fire up the brain-body connection. They are also "high velocity, low amplitude" impulses to the joints, this ensures, negligible stress is put through all involved ligaments and tissues, no more than normal day to day pressures.

Believe you have osteoarthritis?

If you are suffering from arthritis, you can try rubbing a smooth metal spanner across each side of the affected joints for a couple of minutes. This sends a specific vibration through, which will help to break adhesions within the joint and increase the mobility, reducing pain.

Our gold standard advice for anyone suffering joint pain would be to visit us for a thorough initial consultation to assess WHY those joints are wearing quicker. We will lay out a clear and precise plan to take the pressure off those joints, allowing them to function with ease.

If you'd like to know more about this process, or the most powerful tool we have in the clinic, the chiropractic adjustment, and how they can improve your quality of life, why not give us a call and book yourself on our next FREE spinal and posture screening day?