10+ Reasons Why You Should Never Crack Your Bones

By Lauren Mccluskey 1 year ago

1. Cracking your bones may lead to weakened ligaments

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Sometimes, when you hear a crack or a pop, particularly in your knees or ankles, it can be a sign of your ligaments tightening.  But if you are constantly cracking them on purpose, this can cause unnecessary wear and tear on your ligaments and weaken them.

2. It may cause joint pain and stiffness

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You might experience the sensations of pain or stiffness within your joints when they crack.  This is because if you open up a joint enough for it to produce a gas bubble, you'll feel some pressure and the feeling of
needing to crack
.  But when the pressure subsides after 
this is when you might suffer that pain and stiffness.

3. It could cause damage to your cartilage

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If you find that cracking your joints is particularly painful, you might have damaged the cartilage that surrounds your joints.  The sensation of pain that you are feeling might be accompanied by swelling, stiffness, and a loss of mobility in the joint.

4. It might result in the formation of painful bone spurs

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Bone spurs tend to happen when the cartilage around your joints, like your knee or hip, is damaged or worn down.  They can be particularly painful but it is your body's own way of protecting a weakened joint.  And in rare cases, cracking your bones could cause your cartilage to break down.

5. It'll wear your joints out faster

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As you age, you'll probably notice that your joints are cracking more frequently and they're much louder than they used to be.  This is totally normal.  But if you're cracking them on purpose, and all of the time, you might find that your protective cartilage has worn away faster than it would've done, causing your joints to wear out quicker too.

6. You could cause damage to your spinal cord

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You might've heard that cracking your back could lead to causing some damage to your spinal cord.  But the truth is, in moderation, you're probably not going to cause too much damage.  You see, nothing is actually cracking or splintering when you hear that pop, it's just gas escaping.  But some studies have found that it can lead to a premature breakdown of joints.

7. Cracking bones might injure blood vessels

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Cracking your knuckles hasn't been found to be particularly harmful on the whole.  But it is important to state that cracking your neck or your spine without visiting a professional can cause some serious damage, including to important blood vessels.

8. It might cause inflammation

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It has been said that it is an old wives tale that cracking your knuckles can lead to inflammation and arthritis.  And the truth is that joint cracking isn't anything to do with your bones splintering.  It's more to do with gas that becomes trapped inside the joint being released.

9. It may weaken your grip

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You do have to be careful though if you're regularly cracking your knuckles though because there is a very small chance that you could weaken your grip.  Particularly if your cartilage is breaking down more quickly than it should or you already have an underlying condition.

10. You might increase your risk of injury

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Some studies have found that if you crack your joints, this can cause joint instability.  This is because, when you crack your joints, in rare cases, the ligaments and muscles that surround your joints are stretched and they can be torn.  This may lead to an increased risk of injury.

11. Joint instability can lead to falls and other accidents

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When you have weakened joints, or joint instability, as a result of stretched or torn muscles, you are more at risk of losing your balance and suffering a trip or a fall.  And being more prone to accidents like this, along with your weakened joints can certainly put you at a higher risk of injury.

12. Mobility and flexibility will decrease

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You might also find that if your joints are cracking a lot, it's usually nothing to worry about unless you are experiencing sensations of pain, swelling, or redness in the area.  And if you are experiencing these symptoms, you might also find that your mobility and flexibility of that joint are reduced.

13. Your fingers could become crooked

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If you're pulling or pushing on your finger too hard in order to crack it for a party trick, or just simply out of habit, you are risking injuring yourself.  And if you do injure yourself in this way, your fingers might start to look alarmingly crooked!

14. In rare cases, cracking your neck might cause a stroke

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In our necks, there are so many blood vessels that you might be at risk of damaging if you crack it too often.  And in very rare cases, it has been found that forceful and frequent neck cracking can cause damage to these blood vessels and there's even a risk of a stroke!

15. Cracking bones can result in painful pinched nerves

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Forcefully cracking your neck is never advised by professionals, and if you are having issues, you are always advised to visit a medical professional like an
If you forcefully crack your neck you are not only risking damage to your blood vessels or a stroke, but it's more common for you to suffer a painful pinched nerve.

16. It might be the cause of uncomfortable headaches

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Experts have found that people who regularly crack their own necks quite forcefully tend to suffer from neck pain and also uncomfortable headaches.  Likewise, if you injure any joints or areas of your neck by doing this, headaches are, unfortunately, a very common complaint.

17. You might be more at risk of blood clotting

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Medical experts have found that, in very rare cases, popping or cracking your neck can put you at risk of tearing the inner lining of an artery.  And even though the tear is minuscule, it can be the cause of you suffering blood clots and this may lead to you having a stroke.

18. You can make existing conditions worse

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Cracking joints is perfectly natural, because, as we said, it's just gas escaping from your joints.  And it's unlikely that it'll be the cause of conditions like arthritis as previously believed.  But if you already have a condition like osteoarthritis, you can make it worse by deliberately and frequently popping your joints.

19. You're unlikely to cause osteoarthiritis

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Contrary to popular belief, you aren't likely to actually cause osteoarthritis by deliberately cracking your bones.  But you should still try to limit it as this habit is hard to break and it can still reduce your grip strength and weaken your joints.

20. You might suffer severe joint pain over time

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That said, if you continue to forcefully crack your joints, potentially breaking down the cartilage, stretching and tearing your muscle, and becoming more prone to injury, you might find that your joints slowly become more and more painful over time.

21. You could cause damage to your tendons

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If you have any damage to your tendons, you might find that you are experiencing pain and inflammation.  But another telltale symptom of
is a cracking, popping, or even rather unpleasant crunching sound to accompany the pain.  You'll find that is's actually too painful to satisfy your habit of deliberately cracking your joints!

22. It could affect your range of motion

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Bone cracking and popping are medically known as
and naturally occur when you move.  But if you cause yourself an injury from applying too much pressure on your joints so they pop, you'll find that you will have a reduced range of motion in the place you're injured.

23. Your joints can change shape and become misaligned

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Even though knuckle cracking is not seen as particularly harmful, you might be surprised to hear that it isn't really that beneficial either (beyond the satisfaction of the pop and release in pressure!)  But if you pull your finger hard enough, you could injure the ligaments inside, potentially changing the shape of your joints!

24. It can quickly become a habit

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Cracking your knuckles can very very quickly become an undesirable habit that is almost impossible to crack (pun not intended!).  And, like with all habits, it could become something that takes over, interrupting your whole life and your ability to achieve your goals!

25. It's a distraction to yourself and others

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You might find that your habit really helps you to procrastinate a little, and you can use your bone-cracking as a distraction from the tasks you need to complete.  But the thing is, people can
it, so it can actually distract them from their life too!

26. It might interfere with your ability to focus

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Habits, like bone-cracking, have the potential to completely interfere with our lives.  And the compulsion to crack your bones before you do anything else can block your ability to focus on anything.  This might affect your performance at work or your progress with a project you've got on the go!

27. It grosses people out

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The cracking of joints is quite misunderstood and there is a popular belief that you are actually cracking your bones, rubbing them together, or splintering them, rather than releasing built-up gas.  So some people are easily grossed out by this, especially when their bones don't crack on demand as loudly as yours!

28. It can actually be a cause of stress

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Habits that develop can actually be caused by stress.  But the thing is, cracking your bones can actually be the cause of stress to you and others around you.  You might feel anxious that it's a sign of something sinister, and others might be stressed because they're grossed out by how far you pull your finger out of its socket!

29. Your sleep might be affected by it

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Like with any habit, compulsively increasing the air between your joints and releasing it so it pops can affect your sleep.  And if you've injured yourself enough that you're experiencing any pain or discomfort, you might find that this is enough to keep you awake.

30. You're probably annoying everyone

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Even though cracking your bones has, mostly, been found to be pretty harmless, it does have the potential to really get on other people's nerves.  The sound itself is enough to make people sigh, cringe, and roll their eyes, so be mindful of others too!

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