ZocdocAnswersDid I injure my finger by cracking my knuckle?

Question

Did I injure my finger by cracking my knuckle?

I crack my knuckles all the time. But now my pointer finger has been hurting lately. Only when I go to crack it or touch my knuckle(massaging). I don't know if I should be worried about it or if I just sprained it?

Answer

Cracking the knuckles generally does not cause permanent damage to them. When you crack your knuckles, what you are essentially doing is causing small air bubbles to form and then pop inside the joint fluid. This is called "cavitation" and it is what produces the cracking noise in most cases. Importantly, however, cracking your knuckles should never hurt. If it does, then this might mean either that you have somehow "strained" your finger by too vigorously manipulating it or that you have something else going on that is causing pain. I would recommend going to see your primary care doctor about this issue. There are several different forms of arthritis that you could be suffering from that could be causing your pain. Similarly, you could be suffering from an overuse injury to the finger, say from typing on a keyboard for a very long period of time. Your doctor will be able to examine your fingers for any objective signs of inflammation or swelling. Depending on what they find, they may want to get additional tests, such as an x-ray of the hands. They also will be able to suggest medications to help relieve the pain. Speak with your doctor today!

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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