The Cracked Mystery of Cracking Fingers


We often crack our fingers. But do you ever wonder what creates this cracking sound?

We have 206 bones in our body. There are some ligaments that surround the Joints of the bones. Inside every joint, there is some thick slippery liquid. This liquid is known as Synovial Fluid.

This fluid eliminates any type of friction among the bones. There are some gases infused in this liquid. When we crack our fingers, we create a situation similar to pulling our bones apart. This stretches the ligaments and creates tension among them.

We know that when area is increased, pressure is automatically decreased. So, when we crack our fingers the area between our bones increase due to the stretching of ligaments. This increased area reduces the pressure inside the joints and makes the infused gases form bubbles to fill up the extra space. This procedure is known as the Cavitation Process.

Our bodies try to revert these joints to their former shape by increasing the pressure inside the liquid. This pressure bursts the bubbles formed by the cavitation process and creates a cracking sound.

It takes another 25-30 minutes for these gases to again get infused with the synovial fluid completely. That’s why after cracking a finger you can’t immediately crack it again.

People used to think cracking fingers caused Osteoarthritis. But in 1998 Donald Unger dismissed this notion in his research paper.

He proved this by cracking the joints of his left hand regularly for 60 years while keeping the right side untouched. This did not affect his joints in any way. He received an award on medical science for this research in 2009.

We should never crack our fingers too much. Because it gradually reduces our ability to grasp something. We might also feel pain in the joints due to this.

So, if you are a Chain-Cracker, you should try to get rid of this bad habit for your own good.