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Editorial

To Your Health


Our Habits Affect Us Positively or Negatively



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10/01/2015 - Howdy! I apologize for not writing more articles, the "department of paperwork" feels that I have not done my fair share of wasting my time filling out "required " information for the their data banks. Hence information to you folks has to be back burnered.

Today's article will hopefully answer or better clarify for the many who have asked this question: "Is it okay to crack my knuckles?".

In the Western Journal of Medicine, May 1975: Vol 122. entitled "The Consequences of Habitual Knuckle Cracking" researchers tackled this problem.

Researchers took a group of geriatric patients, average age 78.5 and clinically examined and x-rayed and compared them to a group of 11 year olds. They found the prevalence of knuckle cracking was to be about the same in both age groups. Results were that those in the geriatric group who cracked their knuckles had less incidence of osteoarthritis. ( WOW!) Now only one person in the geriatric group had osteoarthritis out group of 15 knuckle crackers , while of the 13 non knuckle cracking, eight showed no osteoarthritis. It is of these researchers opinion that knuckle cracking does not cause arthritis in the hand.

Not enough evidence for you? In the journal American Board of Family Medicine, March-April, 2011 entitled "Knuckle Cracking and Hand Osteoarthritis", are the following comments from the researchers:

Knuckle cracking is a behavior that involves manipulation of the finger joints that results in an audible crack, and it is often done habitually. It is estimated that 25-54% of people habitually crack their knuckles.

25% in adults older than 45 years

34% in 11 year old children

54% among nursing home residents with mean age of 78 years.

This study assessed 215 individuals, which is important. They "would need 200 participants to reach statistical difference". 135 of these individuals had osteoarthritis; 80 were the control group. Their mean age was 62 years (50-89 years). 43 (20%) habitually cracked their knuckles. Participants hands were reviewed radiographically.

Results: "The prevalence of any knuckle cracking among the controls was not significantly different from prevalence in persons with osteoarthritis. "These authors concluded "a history of habitual knuckle cracking-including the total duration and total cumulative exposure does not seem to be a risk factor for hand osteoarthritis."

So a person doing this is releasing joint stress and improving motion in the joint. Hey, that's what chiropractors do. So for those who are telling individuals not to do it, it could be that they are just annoyed with the noise but research-wise there is minimal support for their argument.

Until next time (if I am not buried in paperwork), see ya!

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