Chiropractor Questions Chiropractor

“Is it bad to pop your fingers?”

I am a 34 year old female. I want to know if it is bad to pop your fingers?

11 Answers

Yes, you get arthritis
Not necessarily
Not necessarily, the belief used to be that popping your fingers would "cause" arthritis. There is no evidence that shows that. The cavitation or "popping" noise is just gas being released from the joint, which does tend to feel better. The manor in which the joint is "popped" can be of concern, and potentially cause harm or damage.
It's an old wive's tale that "popping" or "cracking" your knuckles is bad for your fingers. It's such a strong superstition that I would not be surprised if the most learned amongst us had strong feelings about it. However, if the popping is painful or your fingers are constantly stiff, I would suggest having that checked out.
There are no studies that show that. Twisting the finger joints to make them pop is no good -- just a light pull on each finger is plenty. Nothing with rotation or excessive force.


Dr. Brandon Buttry
Not bad to do if you pull the fingers directly straight out rather than bending them to “pop” them. Basically, you are going along the joint line and not against it.

Vishal K. Verma, DC CCSP

There was a study done at UCLA in the 1980s that compared chronic knuckle crackers to people who never cracked them. They found people who never cracked their knuckles were 4X as likely to develop osteoarthritis in their hands.

Dr. Ehret
No, it is not. There is an old wives tale that popping your fingers makes your knuckles enlarge. Not true. Keeping joints loose and mobile deters the early onset of osteoarthritis, which is the most common form that develops during the aging process.

Yours in health,

Doc J
Not at all.
No, it is not bad to pop your fingers. The best way is to pull them away from your hand to allow more space between the joints.