Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Snap, Crackle, and Pop (part 2)

So quite a while ago, I made a post titled Snap, Crackle, and Pop, talking about cracking joints. Funny story, because almost a year later (one month ago), DanceSpirit made a post of the same name - only they consulted experts and wrote it better.

Photo Credit
Writer Julie Diana asked a few experts what the deal was about cracking. I'm sure you've all had the teacher or friend who told you that cracking your joints obsessively would lead to wearing away the cartilage in your knuckles and joints and possibly arthritis one day. But is it true?

The chiropractors and dance medicine specialists that Diana consulted say no. Cracking isn't necessarily unhealthy, all you're doing is taking your joint to the end of its ROM (range of motion), which feels good and loosens it up a bit. The crack that you hear is caused by one of three (normal) possibilities: 1) a little bubble of gas escapes when you move the joint to the end of its ROM, 2) the cartilage is not smooth and makes a sound when it rubs against something, or 3) tendons or small, tight muscles make a noise when sliding over a bursa.

All in all, it's not necessarily bad to crack and pop joints if it makes you feel better and more at ease with your ROM. Cracking even releases endorphins, and while short lived, endorphins make you happy. So crack, snapple, and pop away! (oops, did I mess that up?)


  1. Ha ha wow. Now I don't have to stress over popping joints. Especially because it feels good to pop my back and neck when streching at dance. It helps loosen up my joints. I also sometimes pop my knuckles and fingers. Thanks for the info.

    1. I totally gotcha there, I'm that person too. As long as it feels good, you've got nothing to worry about :)