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nikipedia's avatar

How necessary is knuckle-cracking?

Asked by nikipedia (28077points) September 29th, 2009

The question below this one reminded me of this. I have a classmate who cracks his knuckles very often and extremely loudly. It really bothers me.

One day, I asked him to stop and he snapped at me that his knuckles hurt if he stopped cracking them.

Knuckle-crackers: is this true? Do you experience physical pain if you don’t crack your knuckles? Is it a reasonable request to ask someone not to crack his knuckles during class, or am I being too demanding?

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24 Answers

kheredia's avatar

Its not necessary.. just a bad habit.

jaketheripper's avatar

ya they can start to ache a little. I would say it’s a little harsh to demand that he stop.

Les's avatar

Completely un..

Sarcasm's avatar

I’m a regular knuckle cracker.
I don’t feel any pain (nor do I feel uncomfortable) if I go a while without doing it.

I just do it out of a lack of anything else to do with my hands.

Now, my back and my neck, they begin to feel uncomfortable and cracking seems to help it. But I do that maybe once a day.

Noel_S_Leitmotiv's avatar

Necessary? no, that doesnt mean I can’t stop.

Facade's avatar

Very necessary, at least for me. If I don’t crack my joints, and crack em often, I can’t move well, especially if it’s cold.

kevbo's avatar

According to wikipedia, not much has been conclusively proven about any aspect of knuckle cracking. Wikipedia does say it relieves excess pressure on the joints. Burping and farting also relieve excess pressure.

I’ve done it habitually since I was 8. I try not to do it in close quarters, but it’s hard not to sometimes only because it’s a strong habit. The only time it hurts is when a joint only “pops halfway” and takes extra effort to finish.

SuperMouse's avatar

Necessary is not a word I have ever heard used to describe knuckle cracking. I do remember my grandmother telling me that I would get arthritis in my hands, my joints would swell up, and my fingers would freeze forever if I kept cracking my knuckles. I haven’t cracked them in over 30 years!

kevbo's avatar

That’s also never been proven, but I’ve heard similar.

SarasWhimsy's avatar

Some of us do have arthritis and the cracking can relieve that pressure. I don’t know if it’s a proven “fact” or anything, but I know it helps me.

thanatos's avatar

It’s very necessary if you love knuckle cracking.

charliecompany34's avatar

it’s not necessary. it’s a habit.

CMaz's avatar

My knuckles tend to crack when I wipe my butt.

efritz's avatar

It’s a very satisfying habit for me. Regardless, I don’t do it if it bugs people.

@ChazMaz – geez what are you scraping out of there?

CMaz's avatar

“geez what are you scraping out of there?”

“It’s a very satisfying habit for me.”

What can I say. I have very fragile finger joints.

juicyfreak7's avatar

i truly think it is an immature habit

casheroo's avatar

Sometimes I need to pull on my thumb, because it’s hurting me and it takes a while for me to do so..I usually need someone else to do it. But, regular cracking of the knuckles? No. I usually do that at night, at home..I can’t think of why I’d do it in public especially a quiet classroom.

knitfroggy's avatar

I crack my knuckles and all my toes several times a day. My dad started cracking my toes when I was a kid and I just got used to it. It feels good to do it. I’ve cracked my left thumb so much that it won’t crack anymore and just kinda makes a gushy, gross sound. My grandma always yells at me that knuckle cracking will give me arthritis. I’ve heard many times this is untrue. But I do have arthritis in my fingers and toes, so who knows. It comes and goes and doesn’t bother too much-not enough to stop cracking. I love to crack my back too.

wildpotato's avatar

I know a rheumatologist (joint, arthritis doctor). She uses the arthritis excuse to get people to stop cracking their knuckles because she hates the noise, but when I confronted her about it recently sshe got all evasive and finally said that nothing’s been proven. What we hear is air moving inside the joint, apparently. So, not necessary, just an interesting feeling I guess.

evegrimm's avatar

I know that sometimes my feet (especially big toes) feel better once they’ve been cracked—they stiffen up quite a bit otherwise. (After I had surgery on my feet and couldn’t pop my big toes, that was the worst of it, because my toes ached and were so very stiff until I could pop them again.)

If my joints/back is stiff, than cracking it/them often feels better.

Cracking my finger-knuckles, though? Not necessary. I’m just antsy—something to do, especially when lectures get really long and boring and I’m trying not to fall asleep. I figure it’s a better habit than biting my nails.

knitfroggy's avatar

@evegrimm It is, because my aunt has chewed her nails until they are deformed!

fedupwitcaddys's avatar

force of habit…..bad habit at that!......i started cracking my knuckles at 6years. old…..been doing it ever since. NOW… seems like my joints in my hand get stiff at times and i feel like im developing arthritis in my i advise that you should slow it down or try to quit. i know some times your hands feel restless and you feel you have to crack them…...but if you wanna avoid achey joints and knuckles later on in life…..give it up if you can. i know from experience.

Noel_S_Leitmotiv's avatar

I can’t read this thread without having to crack something.

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