Most people are quite familiar with the sound of cracking joints. You’ve probably heard someone “crack their knuckles” once or a hundred times. It’s something that millions of people across the world do, sometimes without even a second thought. But over time, it has raised many questions, particularly regarding the safety of cracking joints. To some, the sound that cracking a joint makes can sound rather painful. There is also the myth that constantly popping or cracking your knuckles will cause arthritis, but as stated, this is just a myth.

This, obviously, brings up a lot of questions about the nature of cracking joints. Is it safe? Does it actually do anything? What causes it? These are just a few of the common questions many people have about cracking joints and chiropractic care. Let’s dive into some of the basics.

The Cause of the Signature “Cracking” Sound

A common misconception is that the cracking sound comes from the bones. In reality, the sound is actually coming from your joint. Synovial fluid, also referred to as joint fluid, is a thick liquid-like substance that is found between your joints. The task of this fluid is to reduce friction when you are moving your joints. Without this fluid, moving any joint would be extremely painful. During the production of this fluid, there are also byproducts which are created in the form of gases: oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide (CO2).

These byproducts form little gas bubbles in the joints. The signature cracking or popping sound, like when cracking your knuckles, occurs when your joints are manipulated in a way that causes those bubbles to be released. This is also why you can’t pop your knuckles and then immediately pop them again. The gas bubbles take time to reform depending on a variety of factors. But that’s it! That’s what causes the signature “pop” or “crack” sound.

Cracking Your Joints Isn’t Harmful

Why Your Joints Crack and Pop

Usually, hearing popping or cracking sounds coming from your body can be a cause for alarm. No one particularly likes to hear something that sounds like it might hurt, and popping your knuckles or other joints can certainly sound painful. Luckily, popping or cracking your joints isn’t painful… in most circumstances. If there isn’t any pain or discomfort when you pop your joints, then you have nothing to worry about. But if you start experiencing pain, or have been experiencing pain, that could be the sign of something that is wrong with the joint. Painful joint popping could be a sign of early stage:

  • Arthritis
  • Tendinitis
  • Bursitis
  • Other joint issues

This is likely where the myth came about of popping your knuckles leading to arthritis in your fingers. However, there is no evidence to suggest that this actually leads to arthritis or any other ailment. Instead, painful joint popping is a good early indicator that there is something wrong. If you are experiencing pain when cracking or popping joints, you should schedule an appointment and discuss it with your chiropractor.

Can’t I Just Crack My Own Joints Instead of a Chiropractor?

Particularly when it comes to popping the back, many people believe that they don’t need to go to the chiropractor because they can “pop” their joints on their own. This, however, is simply untrue. When you pop your own back, you are only able to manipulate the weakest joints. These weak joints are often not the bigger issue at hand when the need arises for chiropractic adjustments. This is why Dr. Meyer D.C. has gone through extensive education and training to perform chiropractic adjustments on patients. Certain chiropractic adjustment techniques solve different issues, but only when performed by a licensed professional. In fact, performing many of these techniques without the knowledge and experience required of the profession could lead to injury instead of relief.

Professional Chiropractic Care in Southlake

Chiropractic care is safe, harmless, and effective in relieving numerous types of pain to increase not only your health, but also your quality of life. We understand the skepticism that people have, and we aim to alleviate that skepticism while providing education about chiropractic care and practices. If you are looking for a much more cost-effective and non-invasive treatment for pain and discomfort, schedule your consultation with Meyer Chiropractic today by giving us a call at (817) 310-6604.