We’ve all heard these noises before from someone stretching out their fingers and/or popping their knuckles. People may have warned you that your knuckle-cracking habit can lead to arthritis or other health concerns. This common habit has a simple explanation.

The joints in your body have spaces between them. This spaces expand when you stretch your fingers out. The pressure in the joint then decreases and the gasses are dissolved into fluids causing a release of pressure, like the sound created by opening a bottle of champagne. The fluid returns to its’ proper place, popping the little bubbles of gas as the joint settles back into place. This is what causes the familiar cracking sound. The explanation also comes with good news: cracking your knuckles has not been shown to lead to arthritis! The movement can even feel good because when you joint stretches out, the nerve endings in your fingers are stimulated.