Despite what you may have heard, no. Shockingly, knuckle popping has somewhat of the opposite affect. Taking your joints through their full range of motion, which is what you do when you pop them, is good for your joints. Popping your joints can actually lower your chances of joint wear and tear and arthritic changes. Popping your knuckles is not a cure for arthritis; it only reduces the chances of getting it.
Of course, like anything, things done in excess can be bad for you. Although knuckle popping does not cause arthritis, it can cause other joint problems. If you pop your joints too often, you can stretch out the ligaments and predispose them to injury. If an injury occurs, it may prolong the healing process. Also, a decrease in grip strength over time is often another side effect of frequent knuckle poppers. It is OK to pop your joints, but try and veer away from cracking and popping every 30 minutes.
If you have any questions about arthritis or joint injuries, call East Jefferson General Hospital’s HealthFinder at (504) 456-5000 to help you find a physician who is right for you.