Most of us have popped our knuckles at some point or another in our lives. For some of us, it’s habit. Others of us avoid the practice under the belief that popping our knuckles will increase the likelihood of developing arthritis in our hands. But is that really true? Dr. Darek Eggleston of Ogden Clinic says that there’s no evidence to support that fear.
“I have no objection to people popping their knuckles,” said Dr. Eggleston. “I’ve never seen any research correlating the two. In fact, anecdotally, I know of an orthopedic surgeon that wanted to put that fear to the test. He popped his knuckles only in one hand his entire life, just to see what would happen. Do you know what happened? Absolutely nothing. Both hands were the same. So no, there is genuinely no harm in popping your knuckles.”
While there’s no correlation between popping knuckles and developing arthritis, Dr. Eggleston warns that arthritis itself should still be taken very seriously. More than 50 million US adults (~23%) have been diagnosed with some form of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, or fibromyalgia in their lifetime. The negative effects of these diseases can be life-changing.
Arthritis affects your joints, causing painful, swollen knees and fingers. Rheumatoid arthritis is a systematic disease, meaning it can affect many additional parts of the body, as well – your skin, eyes and lungs, to name a few. Dr. Eggleston warns that the symptoms of these diseases are most likely to show up in the fifth decade of life, but that they can show up much earlier based upon your genetics.
“Be aware of your family history,” said Dr. Eggleston. “If your parents or grandparents suffered from arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, be aware of that. Look for the symptoms in yourself. If any symptoms develop, come and see me or another physician right away.”
You can reach Dr. Darek Eggleston by calling 801-475-3600 or by clicking here to make an appointment.