One article on PainSci cites Deweber 2011: The Complete Guide to Neck Pain & Cricks
original abstract †Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.
BACKGROUND: Previous studies have not shown a correlation between knuckle cracking (KC) and hand osteoarthritis (OA). However, one study showed an inverse correlation between KC and metacarpophalangeal joint OA.
METHODS: We conducted a retrospective case-control study among persons aged 50 to 89 years who received a radiograph of the right hand during the last 5 years. Patients had radiographically proven hand OA, and controls did not. Participants indicated frequency, duration, and details of their KC behavior and known risk factors for hand OA.
RESULTS: The prevalence of KC among 215 respondents (135 patients, 80 controls) was 20%. When examined in aggregate, the prevalence of OA in any joint was similar among those who crack knuckles (18.1%) and those who do not (21.5%; P = .548). When examined by joint type, KC was not a risk for OA in that joint. Total past duration (in years) and volume (daily frequency × years) of KC of each joint type also was not significantly correlated with OA at the respective joint.
CONCLUSIONS: A history of habitual KC-including the total duration and total cumulative exposure-does not seem to be a risk factor for hand OA.
- “The consequences of habitual knuckle cracking,” R L Swezey and S E Swezey, West J Med, 1975.
- “Effect of habitual knuckle cracking on hand function,” J Castellanos and D Axelrod, Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, 1990.
- “Habitual knuckle cracking and hand function,” P A Simkin, Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, 1990.
- “Does knuckle cracking lead to arthritis of the fingers?,” D L Unger, Arthritis and Rheumatism, 1998.
- “Clinical Inquiry: Does knuckle popping lead to arthritis?,” Tye Powers, Gary Kelsberg, and Sarah Safranek, J Fam Pract, 2016.
- “"Knuckle Cracking": Can Blinded Observers Detect Changes with Physical Examination and Sonography?,” Robert D Boutin, Anuj P Netto, David Nakamura, Cyrus Bateni, Robert M Szabo, Michael Cronan, Brent Foster, William R Barfield, J Anthony Seibert, and Abhijit J Chaudhari, Clinical Orthopaedics & Related Research, 2017.
- “Effects of habitual knuckle cracking on metacarpal cartilage thickness and grip strength,” M T Yildizgören, T Ekiz, S Nizamogullari, A D Turhanoglu, H Guler, N Ustun, M Kara, and L Özçakar, Hand Surg Rehabil, 2017.
This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights:
- Exercise and education versus saline injections for knee osteoarthritis: a randomised controlled equivalence trial. Bandak 2022 Ann Rheum Dis.
- Association of Lumbar MRI Findings with Current and Future Back Pain in a Population-based Cohort Study. Kasch 2022 Spine (Phila Pa 1976).
- A double-blinded randomised controlled study of the value of sequential intravenous and oral magnesium therapy in patients with chronic low back pain with a neuropathic component. Yousef 2013 Anaesthesia.
- Is Neck Posture Subgroup in Late Adolescence a Risk Factor for Persistent Neck Pain in Young Adults? A Prospective Study. Richards 2021 Phys Ther.
- Sudden amnesia resulting in pain relief: the relationship between memory and pain. Choi 2007 Pain.