The Ultimate Guide to Cracking Knuckles

crack knuckles

Knuckle cracking can be good for so many things: it can release tension in your fingers; it is an occupation for your hands; you can really annoy the people around you with it and maybe even drive them insane – every single one of them is a valid reason. But how can you do it? Let’s enumerate the methods! (Hint: there are quite a few of these.)

Grab, squeeze, twist and crack

Put your hands together

Think of the way you hold a dice in a craps game. This is the first step in loosening your fingers.

Stretch your fingers out in a jerky motion, gently squeezing each knuckle as you do so.

The lower knuckles should be the easiest to crack, but the upper knuckles can also be cracked. Squeezing and applying force should result in an immediate click. Sometimes the knuckles just don’t want to crack. If your finger starts to hurt and you don’t hear a crack, just move on to the next finger.

Another method is to clench one of your hands into a fist.

Then wrap your other hand around the clenched fist and squeeze it. This way you can crack the entire row of knuckles at once. Alternatively, you can rotate your hand and then press down on your upper knuckles. This method may take some getting used to, as it can also be painful at first.

Or pick one finger at a time.

Clench your hand into a fist as you have done in the other methods, but this time focus on only one finger at a time. You might be able to get a louder popping sound if you focus all of the pressure on just one finger. Clasp the hand you want to crack with your other hand and place the thumb of that hand on the finger you want to crack. Press down one finger at a time on either the top of your finger or near the fingertip with your thumb to crack the top knuckle.

Try to crack your knuckles by twisting them.

There are two ways to do this: With one hand, clasp the finger on the other hand that you want to crack. Then rotate that hand while keeping your finger straight. It takes some time to perfect this method, but once you’ve got it, you can make a good crackling sound. You can also crack the upper knuckle. All you have to do is grip your finger a little higher. Grab the upper ankle with your other hand and twist it. The only difference with this method is that you’re rotating the hand you’re using to initiate the crack instead of the hand you’re cracking with.

Try to crack your knuckles without touching them.

To do this, just tense your fingers and try to bend them slowly. This method may work if your ankles have a particularly large number of gas bubbles. For most people, however, this is just a pipe dream. It is even rarer that the same finger can be cracked again immediately after it has been cracked. This might not be a problem for you, but if it doesn’t work, just wait 5-10 minutes and try again.

Understand your knuckles

Understand why your knuckles crack.

These are thought to be gas bubbles in the synovial fluid that burst when you move your ankles in a certain way. Because of differences in knuckle size, some people may crack their knuckles louder than others. Yet some people cannot crack their knuckles at all. Which ones can you crack? The upper and also the lower ankles? All of your joints (where bone meets bone and is held together by tendons and ligaments) are surrounded by synovial fluid. When you stretch your fingers, the volume between your joints increases, reducing the pressure. As a result, the gases dissolve, and bubbles form. These are then the blisters that burst in your fingers. This process is called “cavitation.”

Allow about 15 minutes before it cracks again.

Once you’ve cracked your knuckles, it takes some time for new gas bubbles to form in your synovial fluid. As a result, you cannot crack them again immediately. But within 10 to 15 minutes, the synovial fluid should be ready again. Just measure how long it takes you.

Be aware of the implications.

Your mother must have told you that cracking your knuckles gives you arthritis or some other bad effect on your hands. Is that correct? Well, probably not. There are some studies on this, but none provided clear results. Mainly these are all just old wives’ tales. Some say it can lead to joint pain, while others say joint pain is unrelated to cracking ankles. On top of that, the fact that people who crack their ankles are often already in pain – how to explain that? But as with anything else, just to be safe, don’t overdo it.


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