This week on WJON’s Health Matters program, Jay Caldwell talked with Dr. Joel Baumgartner from Rejuv Medical. He asked him if cracking your knuckles can lead to arthritis. He says no although cracking your knuckles can be hard to listen to. Dr. Baumgartner says when someone is cracking their knuckles they are releases some gas. He says your risk of arthritis doesn’t increase unless you do it all the time which could lead to a sprain of that joint. That sprain would increase your risk for arthritis.
Dr. Baumgartner says risk factors for Arthritis include not rehabbing injuries correctly, family history and age. He recommends some time off that injured joint when the injury first occurs before beginning a rehab process. Dr. Baumgartner says when someone is 35 or older the cartilage which coats our joints can start to wear down due to use. He says all of us will develop some wear and tear type arthritis which is a thinning of the cartilage. Some examples of wear and tear include some achiness or swelling alone the joint.
The treatments have advanced quite a bit over the last 10 to 20 years. Dr. Baumgartner says when he sees patients they are not looking for a quick fix. He says there are some products to avoid that are anti-inflammatories like Aleve or Ibuprofen. Baumgartner says having some inflammation can be good for the bodies natural healing process and by taking too many anti-inflammatories can deter the process of healing.