An old belief still exists that cracking knuckle joints leads to arthritis. Research put this theory to the test.
Studies performed in the mid 1970’s and again in 2011 proved that no connection exists between cracking
knuckles and arthritis. Dr. Donald Unger, a medical doctor, earned a Nobel Prize in 2009 for his sixty-year
study proving that knuckle cracking did not contribute to arthritis. Not only was no correlation found between
knuckle cracking and arthritis, but the research also showed a completely opposite effect. People who
regularly cracked the knuckle joints in their hand experienced less arthritis than those who did not. These
findings help further clarify the benefits and unique value of long-term chiropractic adjustments on the spine.
Knuckle joints in the hand share nearly identical characteristics to many of the joints that connect vertebrae in the spine. A myth once existed amongst people who believed regular chiropractic visits weakened the spine. Unfounded fears also led some people to believe that consistent chiropractic care from birth through adulthood contributes to the development of arthritis. These myths and fears never withstood the rigor of science and research. The evidence found among millions of chiropractic patients around the world, both current and in the past, attest to the fact that regular chiropractic adjustments both improve and prevent many forms of arthritis.
Science explains how regular and frequent chiropractic check-ups and adjustments improve the integrity of
the spine and function of the nervous system. Research and clinical outcomes suggest the best way to utilize
chiropractic comes through consistent and frequent adjustments over the course of a lifetime. Regular
attention given to the spine helps increase strength, durability, and movement while balancing function of the
autonomic nervous system. Many disease processes directly result from an imbalanced autonomic nervous
system. Heart disease, immune deficiencies, attention problems, breathing troubles, and many more
autonomic-related dysfunctions originate with an unhealthy and imbalanced nervous system. Resolution and
prevention of many symptoms and conditions can occur by balancing the nervous system through regular and
frequent chiropractic adjustments.
Movement plays a critical role in preventing degeneration of any joint in the body including the small knuckle
joints in the hand or bigger spinal joints surrounded by muscles. The spine uniquely connects to the nervous
system and increasing movement in spinal joints helps the brain and nervous system function at optimal
levels. Chiropractic influences the brain and prevents arthritis and degeneration by improving movement and
spinal alignment in all ages from infants to adults.
Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine: JABFM Mar-Apr 2011 “Knuckle cracking and hand osteoarthritis.” Kevin Deweber 1, Mariusz Olszewski, Rebecca Ortolano
The Western Journal of Medicine May 1975 “The consequences of habitual knuckle cracking.” R L Swezey, S E Swezey