If you are in the habit of “breaking” your fingers, then most likely you have already had a note from a friend or colleague … about the dangers ofarthritis. But is this a fact or an urban legend? Perhaps it is a myth, because today, there is nothing to confirm an association.
So far, there is no study confirming that cracking your fingers promotes arthritis. However, experiments have already been conducted to provide some answers to this question. For example, Donald Unger, an American allergist, has broken the fingers of his left hand twice a day for more than 60 years. At the same time, he did not break the fingers of his right hand once, so that he could compare the condition of both hands and note the possible development of arthritis. In the end, he saw no difference in his hands, no wear on his left hand or arthritis. However, it is important to note that this study was only conducted on a single individual and therefore cannot be generalized to a population. This study earned Dr. Unger the 2009 Nobel Prize in Medicine, an award that rewards the funniest research.
What happens when a joint cracks?
According to a 2015 study published in the journal PLUS ONEIn which the researchers performed real-time magnetic resonance images, the cracking noise is thought to be caused by the formation of a type of gas-filled cavity within the synovial fluid that acts as a natural lubricant between two cartilage regions.
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What about the back and neck?
Cracking your fingers is a priori safe, but is it the same for the rest of the body? The back and neck are the most “cracked” areas after the knuckles. However, manipulating his neck is much more dangerous than manipulating his fingers. Breaking your neck is a risky exercise. Here, the vertebrae and the arteries are too close together, and the act of “cracking” the vertebrae can increase the risk of arterial injury and thus the risk of stroke. The same is true for the back where improper handling can compress the spinal cord. Therefore, physiotherapists recommend avoiding this type of practice on their own and prefer to contact a specialist in case of pain.
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