with Frequency, even


I pop my knuckles pretty much all the time. Obsessively even. I can pop each finger in three places, as well as my knees, elbows and feet. Ew. Um. Am I bragging? I don’t know. It’s not something I’m proud of, and I’ll be the first to admit it’s kind of, what, unladylike? But people, I just can’t help it. It just hurts so good.

I have always worried that mayhaps this habit will render my fingers / joints useless in my old age – that I’ll sit around cursing my younger self for being so obsessive, so unladylike – that I’ll be unable to write, but will sit around licking my teeth and watching reality TV. On the moon, or whatever.

But guess what though – It doesn’t cause arthritis, at all, actually. What’s actually happening:

Are you one of those people that frequently pops their knuckles, back, neck, toes, or any other part of your body? If so, how often do those around you tell you to stop because “it is bad for you.” What exactly happens when you “pop” a joint?

‘…When force is placed on a joint such as your knuckle, the “pop” is a sound resulting from the release of nitrogen gas into the joint cavity. This occurs because a negative pressure is created. The nitrogen is normally dissolved in fluid that is present in the joint (synovial fluid,) but explodes out of the solution when the pressure is significantly reduced. When this happens, the joint becomes swollen, since gas occupies more space than fluid. The joint remains swollen anywhere from 10 minutes to several hours until the gas is reabsorbed back into the synovial fluid. A second “pop” is not possible until this occurs.

The beneficial effects of a “pop” include more movement and less pain.’

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