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#580881 - 12/24/01 07:29 PM Am I getting arthiritis???
Praetorian_AD Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/24/01
Posts: 717
Loc: England
Ever since I can remember, people have been telling me that cracking my knuckles, etc. will eventually give me arthiritis. I am constantly flexing my fingers all day long and winding round my wrists to try and loosen up my seemingly tense hands...is this going to ruin my piano technique one day?!?

Could someone please give me some tips or exercises so as to prevent such a disaster from occuring?! Or do I really have nothing to worry about? Thanks guys.

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#580882 - 12/25/01 08:10 AM Re: Am I getting arthiritis???
Ben G. Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/12/01
Posts: 3
Hi Praetorian,

I was wondering the same thing a while ago. Apparently it won't cause arthritis, but may cause reduced grip strength - unless you're cracking them hard enough to dislocate them \:D

There's a great investigation here .


#580883 - 12/25/01 08:41 AM Re: Am I getting arthiritis???
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18950
Loc: Victoria, BC
Praetorian AD:

Without knowing the answer to your question, I have another but related question:

Why do some people crack their knuckles? I've known few people who do it, but I've always wondered why.

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#580884 - 12/25/01 11:03 AM Re: Am I getting arthiritis???
Jolly Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 14057
Loc: Louisiana
Two part answer:

A. I know of no study which connects knuckle cracking with osteoarthritis. OA is old age or overuse arthritis, not to be confused with autoimmune diseases such as psoriatic arthritis, which have a rheumatic process which OA does not.

Why do people crack their knuckles? I would assume the same reason many people smoke. Habit. And many peole seem to have an indwelling desire to have or do something with their hands. Witness how many use fomites such as pencils to twirl between their fingers.

B. If you think you may be having some early signs of OA - swelling or tenderness of joints, stiffness, etc., or you feel the need to take over the counter analgesics such as aspirin or ibuprofen in order to "loosen" your hands up, you may need to see your physician. A few x-rays of your hands should provide definitive diagnosis, and the radiation is nil compared to the peace of mind you'll have when given a clean bill of health. \:\)

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