Laughter is the Best Medicine

The Truth About What Happens When You Crack Your Joints

In life, there are two kinds of people: those
who crack their knuckles, and those who hate them for it. If you crack your knuckles, you understand
the good feeling you get. But how does crrrrrrrrracking your joints
work, and what really happens when you crack your joints? [knuckles cracking] When you pop a joint, that oh-so-satisfying
crack sure sounds like bone-against-bone. But if you’ve ever been told that it’s just
your joint releasing gas bubbles, well, it turns out that’s actually true. Where your bones connect, you have cartilage
in something called a joint capsule, which contains a lubricant called synovial fluid. When you crack your knuckles, the joint capsule
expands, and the fluids rushes out. No worries, it flows back into place after
the joint snaps back. But during that process, little bubbles are
formed – and according to a mathematical model crafted by Professor Abdul Barakat the cracking
sound you hear is those bubbles popping. Thanks, math! According to Dr. Robert Boutin of the University
of California, cracking your joints is satisfying for the same reason flatulence feels so good:
because it releases built up pressure. [fart noises] So just think of cracking your knuckles as
your hand’s way of farting. [fart noise] Still, it’s not all fun and games. According to Insider, if you feel the need
to crack bigger joints like your back, hips, or neck regularly, that could be a sign of
a larger issue. Frequent discomfort, tightness, or improper
mobility in a joint means something is up with the joint, and while cracking it might
provide temporary relief, it doesn’t address the root problem. And it could be dangerous: in 2011, a 42-year-old
woman who had been cracking her own neck every day for eight years got vertebral artery dissection,
which is a leading cause of stroke in patients under 45. So if you feel the need to crack your back
or neck, it’s probably better to seek out professional medical advice instead of trying
it yourself. [snoring, neck cracking] It’s a classic old wives’ tale: if you crack
your knuckles too much, you’ll develop arthritis. “I have a special way I pop my thumb.” “OH MY GOD!” “And look!” “Oh! Stop it!” But is it true? Do you actually get arthritis from cracking
your knuckles? Nope! At least, that’s the finding of Dr. Donald
Unger, who conducted one of the weirdest experiments in modern history. After being warned as a boy that he would
get arthritis from cracking his knuckles, Unger decided to see if it was true. So over the next 60 years, he cracked the
knuckles on his left hand at least twice a day, while never cracking the knuckles on
his right hand. After more than a half century, he reported
his findings: nothing. The hands were basically the same. As his reward, Dr. Unger received the “Ig
Nobel Prize.” Later, more scientific studies using x-rays
verified his findings. Sounds like he cracked the case! Not only does cracking your knuckles not cause
arthritis, some studies suggest it could actually be good for you. Scientist Greg Kawchuk, for instance, has
speculated that since cracking one’s knuckles isn’t possible without proper joint alignment
and enough synovial fluid, so this annoying habit might actually be a sign of joint health. Meanwhile, the Washington Post writes that
when a joint cracks, that area’s range of motion suddenly gets way more flexible. “I’m going to crack my knuckles and jump for
joy! I got a clean bill of health from Dr. McCoy! Ha ha ha.” Still, don’t go crack-crazy just yet. According to Vox, a study in 1990 found a
potential connection was found between frequent, long-term knuckle cracking and hand swelling,
as well as decreased grip strength. No follow-up studies have yet been done, though. We’re guessing it probably just… slipped
through the cracks. “You don’t crack your knuckles?” “I don’t, do you? Oh, you do!” “I do.” “Oh, it’s creepy.” If you’re one of those poor, unfortunate souls
who has never been able to crack your joints, you should probably stop trying. According to The Guardian, it’s a sign that
your body may simply be built differently: for example, the spacing between your knuckles
might be too wide to get that crack without extreme effort. And trying too hard to force a crack can be
dangerous. In fact, Women’s Health reported that some
people have suffered torn tendons trying to crack their joints. Keep it safe, everybody. That’s really not the kind of popping sound
you want to hear. “I think I’ve cracked it!” As you age, your joints seem to turn into
bubble wrap, cracking and popping every time you move. But according to the Cleveland Clinic, that’s
usually not a cause for alarm. As you get older, the cartilage on your bones
wears away, resulting in rougher surfaces that make more noise when they grind together. Not a big deal, but if the sensation is ever
painful or uncomfortable or if repetitive motions like push-ups cause a soft snapping
sound every time you bend a particular muscle, the best way to loosen everything up is – you
guessed it – more movement, stretching, and exercise. The more you shake yourself around like you
did when you were younger, the more your joints are able to lubricate themselves, and hopefully
be less noisy. [knuckle cracking] Next time someone tells you to stop cracking
your knuckles, tell them about Kalai Selvan Kali Shanmugham, a british gentleman who holds
the Guinness World Record for the most joints cracked continuously, with 32. Shanmugham is able to crack seemingly every
bone in his body that you can think of, from all the different parts of his hands, to his
hips, to his elbows, in less time than it takes you to fry an egg. When he’s not making world records, he claims
to use his advanced cracking abilities mainly as a stress relief valve. And that makes sense, because hearing his
story helped us relieve stress by cracking a smile. And that’s a lot better than cracking your
knuckles any day. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Grunge videos about your favorite
stuff are coming soon. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the
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52 thoughts on “The Truth About What Happens When You Crack Your Joints

  1. Good video bro! I don't comment much but you are one of the rare Youtubers that I have notifications on for. Keep up the good work and have a great weekend!
    Much love from Australia. 🙏🏼🇦🇺

  2. As soon as insider was quoted, I laughed so hard I started tearing up, and realized this channel has little to no credibility.

  3. The fluid replenishes regardless so the air bubbles will be cleared… cracking gives a satisfying or annoying popping noise and that is it. You however should not circumcise your kid and should vaccinate them

  4. I finally have closure to why I never crack anything while some of my friends are like trying to break their necks. I have peace now.

  5. I do crack my knuckles but they crack sideways (if that makes sense?) And not only is it louder but it requires very little effort!

    Basically, hold all fingers like you'd hold an ice cream cone and and apply slight lateral pressure on a mild angle… it sounds epic!

  6. I don't actually crack my back.
    but by twisting my spine while laying down on the ground, I can feel it cracking and it feels amazing
    I do this in a way that my physiotherapist taught me, it's just a mobilization exercise.
    but damn it feels so good, I actually want to keep lying on the floor.

  7. It's called cavitation. Air bubbles that pop in a liquid. It may or not be harmful depending on who does it. As some people are idiots. Well, more than some…

  8. I G Nobel prize? It's pronounced as the Ignoble Prize. As in the word ignoble meaning low grade, something to feel ashamed or not noble.

  9. I crack my Knuckles and it feels great but if I have to watch someone crack their neck I feel like my neck is going to snap

  10. I can't crack my knuckles at all. The way it sounds is worse than nails on a chalkboard. Eeeeee! 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽

  11. I crack my knuckles, back and neck all the time and everyday. Also when I’m about to put on socks, I HAVE to crack my toes.

  12. my joints never crack on purpose but when my my knuckles crack on accident it hurts like a bitch and if my neck cracks it hurts so bad my eyes water.

  13. As it would happen growing up in Cleveland familiar with the Cleveland Clinic. They never read the information about DD Palmer and there are solutions some of the stuff is not correct only you can tell if you read DD Palmer's book..

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