Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Popping the Knuckles



I know most of us have this habit of stretching and popping our knuckles every time we feel a little too stressed or dormant from some task that we are doing for quite sometime. I am guilty of this deed. I can actually pop my knuckles every so often that sometimes it can be painful already. It’s the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning and also the last thing I’ll before I escape away in the snooze bag. There is a sense of pleasure (oh pleasure) and relaxation every time I would pop my knuckles. There exist the sense of being refreshed and recharged for another or even tons more of finger tasks. (Hmmm finger task?)
I have to admit that sometimes pain in popping the knuckles comes in. It’s a strange pain which made me wonder if popping the knuckles is a bad thing or not. They say that it can make the joints grow bigger making it hard for us to wear a ring. Now, I read from the Reader’s Digest before that popping the knuckles is not a bad deed. This is the reason why I continued implementing the habit.
Now, for the benefit of you people who share the same habit, here’s a little research about the case. The whole study is extracted from howstuffworks.com.
As for the harms associated with this habit, according to Anatomy and Physiology Instructors' Cooperative, only one in-depth study regarding the possible detriments of knuckle popping has been published. This study, done by Raymond Brodeur and published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, examined 300 knuckle crackers for evidence of joint damage. The results revealed no apparent connection between joint cracking and arthritis; however, habitual knuckle poppers did show signs of other types of damage, including soft tissue damage to the joint capsule and a decrease in grip strength. This damage is most likely a result of the rapid, repeated stretching of the ligaments surrounding the joint. A professional baseball pitcher experiences similar, although obviously heightened, effects in the various joints of his pitching arm. But assuming you haven't signed a multimillion dollar contract to constantly pop your knuckles, it hardly seems worth the possible risk to your joints.

On the positive side, there's evidence of increased mobility in
joints right after popping. When joints are manipulated, the Golgi tendon organs (a set of nerve endings involved in humans' motion sense) are stimulated and the muscles surrounding the joint are relaxed. This is part of the reason why people can feel "loose" and invigorated after leaving the chiropractor's office, where cavitation is induced as part of the treatment. Backs, knees, elbows and all other movable joints are subject to the same kind manipulation as knuckles are.

2 comments:

dazedblu* said...

I'm innate abt it!

MakMak said...

I think I do it unconsciously.
Oh, and I like the pic. It's nice. :)