If you, like many others, are prone to frequently or even only occasionally cracking your knuckles, it is highly likely that someone, somewhere, will have told you that this will ultimately cause you to have arthritis or osteoarthritis in your fingers.
According to a report by the BBC, however, various studies have shown that this annoying habit is neither likely to cause either of these conditions, nor bad for you in any other way.
Myth busters: Cracking your knuckles
The whole idea that cracking your knuckles is bad for you appears to be nothing but a myth likely to have started simply because those around you could not stand listening to the noise cracking your knuckles invariably makes.
You will subsequently only ever hear someone saying ‘I told you so’ if you happen to be really unlucky and injure your thumb or sprain your finger ligaments while cracking your knuckles, as joint injuries can ultimately be a contributing factor to these conditions, especially if they are not allowed to heal properly.
More likely causes
The chances of this happening are, however, minimal. You are, in fact, far more likely to sustain an injury to the hand by slips, trips and falls; accidents at work or a road traffic accident than you are by cracking your knuckles.
Trying to break your fall with your hand when slipping or tripping, for instance, could easily cause injuries to your finger joints or thumbs that could later lead to arthritis or osteoarthritis developing in your hand.
Getting your fingers trapped or crushed in a work accident could have similar consequences. The risk of developing work-related arthritis after being injured at work could be significantly heightened if you return to work before your work injury has healed properly.
Overuse of your hands or repetitive movements can, although not directly linked to arthritis, also cause a variety of occupational illnesses, including, for instance, carpal tunnel syndrome; tendonitis, tenosynovitis or trigger finger.
Your rights as an employee
Your employer has a legal duty to protect you against workplace accidents and industrial illnesses. If you develop a repetitive strain injury or are injured in an accident at work because your employer was in breach of this duty, give us, Accident Advice Helpline, a call,
as you could be entitled to work injury compensation.
Calls to our 24/7 helpline on freephone 0333 500 0993 or 0800 689 0500 (mobile or home phone) are obligation-free and completely confidential.
Date Published: April 29, 2016
Author: Accident Advice