Tags: knuckle | cracking | study

Knuckle Cracking Study Explains the Noise, but Not Why We Do It

By    |   Thursday, 16 Apr 2015 12:35 PM

A knuckle cracking study conducted by doctors at the University of Alberta has explained perhaps once and for all why a popping sound occurs when finger joints are tugged on, but there's no scientific explanation of why people do it.

"I quite like the sound, but that's my inner nerd talking," said Greg Kawchuk, the study's lead professor and rehabilitation medicine expert at the Edmonton, Canada, university.

According to Reuters, Kawchuk and his team used a machine to pull a man's fingers while the whole thing was being recorded by a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine.

The volunteered knuckles belonged to chiropractor Jerome Fryer, who co-authored the study, helping get it published in the latest issue of the journal Plos One.

Kawchuk described his colleague as "the Wayne Gretzky of knuckle-cracking."

The resulting video showed that the popping sound was likely produced by the quick formation of a gas-filled cavity in the joint's lubricating fluid, known as synovial fluid.

The sudden formation of bubbles — likely nitrogen — is called tribonucleation.

Previously, many scientists believed that the knuckle-popping sound was the result of the collapse of bubbles in the joint fluid, however that notion seems to have been disproven.





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A knuckle cracking study conducted by doctors at the University of Alberta has explained perhaps once and for all why a popping sound occurs when finger joints are tugged on, but there's no scientific explanation of why people do it.
knuckle, cracking, study
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2015-35-16
Thursday, 16 Apr 2015 12:35 PM
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