Chiropractor Cairns often gets asked, “is cracking knuckles (Joint Cracking) bad for you, and what is the popping sound”?

Even though it sounds like it, no bone is actually breaking. People think this because we use words to describe what something sounds like.

As this video indicates “cracking” or joint separation is a rapid creation of the gas-filled joint space, this vacuum formation results in an audible popping sound, due to the collapsing bubble.


Synovial joints throughout the body are very similar and they include neck and back joints.

joint cracking
joint cracking

It takes about twenty minutes for the gas to regenerate in the joint cavity before it can be popped again.

There is no evidence to suggest popping or joint cracking can lead to arthritis.