Fingers cracking… Parents’ reassurance

Who among us has not heard the saying: “Stop breaking your fingers, you will get arthritis later”? We will reassure parents and their children. As well as the adults who continue.

Breaking your fingers is not dangerous

It’s a very funny story. We’re in the 1920s: Little American, Donald Unger, had a dirty habit of breaking his knuckles. And his mother kept telling him, “Stop, Donald, you’re going to have arthritis!” After he became a doctor, he wanted to verify his mother’s sayings. And conducted a scientific study. Because he only broke the knuckles of the fingers of his left hand, not the knuckles of his right hand. And that’s for 60 years!!! To be exact, the knuckles of his left hand cracked no less than 36,500 times, while the knuckles of the right hand cracked irregularly and spontaneously. The result: not the onset of arthritis. Both hands were identical.

However, the study in one patient is a bit light as evidence… But since then, other work has been done on the subject and, in general, there is no more arthritis in crackers than in the others. On the other hand, we still noticed a less forceful handshake. Which in itself is not really dramatic.

Why do fingers break?

A mechanical habit for some, a terrifying obsession for others, break his fingers Until then she was shrouded in an aura of mystery. Where does the famous “crack” you hear when you tighten your knuckles come from? Scientists have finally found the answer.

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According to this study, the crackle is caused by the explosion of microscopic bubbles in the fluid of the finger joints. One bubble is enough to produce noise.

When we press our fingers, we separate our knuckles. And when we do this, the pressure drops and bubbles appear in the synovial fluid. During the joint cracking process, pressure changes occur in the joint that cause the bubbles to vibrate very quickly, resulting in a sound we associate with joint cracking.

It’s not just finger chips. Some also break their necks. It seems that there are even crackers fingers. But for the neck, it is more annoying, because it is always at the same level as the required spine. Gradually, the ligaments will loosen and the floor in question will become unstable. To control this instability, it is the muscles that contract and in the long run, this can be painful!

Then there are knuckles that scream without you wanting to. This is especially the case for the hip. It is unpleasant because it is noisy at times. There, we know it’s the tendons that break.

It’s also the same noise when you go to the orthopedist, but it doesn’t have to be a successful session.

In conclusion, entire generations of parents have lied to their children by threatening them with osteoarthritis, simply because it angered them…

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About the Author: Irene Alves

"Bacon ninja. Guru do álcool. Explorador orgulhoso. Ávido entusiasta da cultura pop."

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