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Why do your joints crack?

17 Feb
Why do your joints crack?

The most common type of joint in the human body is the diarthrodial joint—knuckles and shoulders are examples—in which two bones come together in a capsule. Inside that joint capsule is a lubricant called synovial fluid, which contains dissolved gases. When you stretch the joint, you’re actually compressing it and the fluid within, forcing those nitrogen-rich gases to escape the synovial solution. The release of "air" within the joint capsule is what you hear as a "pop." Once the gas is released, the joint is a bit more flexible (enabling you to go a little further in a yoga pose, for example). But you’ve probably noticed that you can’t immediately crack the same joint again. That’s because the gases released in a pop must first reabsorb into the fluid, a process that takes 15 to 30 minutes. If you habitually crack your knuckles to relieve tension, try concentrating on your breath for 30 seconds instead. Knuckle cracking doesn’t lead to arthritis, but it can lead to decreased grip strength.

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Posted by on February 17, 2009 in Family

 

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