Why Cracking Your Knuckles Is Bad But Cracking Your Back Is Good

If you crack your knuckles and have been told you should not do that, you probably wonder why. Additionally, when you see a chiropractor and he or she "cracks" your back, you wonder why that is any different from cracking your knuckles. The explanation for why the former is bad and the latter is good is not all that difficult to understand.

Cracking Your Knuckles Leads to Damaged Tendons, Dislocation

When you crack your knuckles you are releasing the gas pockets between knuckle bones. The gas and fluid there serves a purpose. It exists to help the knuckles rotate over the tops of each other in a sort of hovering position. When you release the gas, the fluid expands to fill the expanded space between the bones. Eventually, bone on bone rubbing is the result. Your knuckles get sore and stiff, so you repeat the action to get relief. It becomes a bad habit. The knuckles begin to enlarge because they are trying to avoid rubbing against each other. Although it has been proven that you cannot get arthritis from this habit, you can still damage the small tendons and ligaments in your hands, causing them to become more susceptible to dislocation.

"Cracking" Your Back

The popping sounds you hear during an adjustment at the chiropractor are similar to what you might hear if a doctor were to set a broken bone or put a dislocated shoulder back into position. The chiropractor is repositioning your body parts such that they are back in proper alignment with the rest of you. You will never suffer arthritis or any other painful joint condition from what a chiropractor does, and it is highly unlikely for you to develop a vertebral dislocation when you already see a chiropractor who puts your vertebrae back in place.

Releasing Pain vs. Noise and Satisfaction

Another major difference between what a chiropractor does and what a person who cracks his or her knuckles does is the reason behind it. A chiropractor is relieving a person's pain and discomfort through realignment. A knuckle-cracker just enjoys the sound and a sense of satisfaction from popping knuckles. In addition to relieving pain, a chiropractor also recommends forms of physical therapy and exercise to extend the benefits of chiropractic care. The stronger the abdominal and back muscles are, the less pain a patient will feel, and the less he or she will need to see a chiropractor. You do not get the same order of exercises for knuckle-cracking, because there is no real benefit to it to begin with.

Visit a chiropractor like Grand Chiropractic for more information.