This act that
We do it mostly without realizing it, even after one day
tired, or other situations that may cause us worry or stress, for
Usually, blowing our fingers is a reflex act of easing the burden of
But how true can it be that blowing your fingers generates a change in our joints?
Like any movable region, the body of an animal must have efficient mechanisms that allow it to perform this action. These mechanisms, we know as joints Sounds familiar doesn't it? Well, this should be composed of a series of parts, which in turn do the functioning as a whole.
A joint Then, it has different components, which will confer on it, different characteristics and specializations to achieve its mission: the movement (to a greater or lesser degree depending on the type of joint in question).
Within these pieces, there are: the bones, attached to one or more bones, and also through other associated tissues that will be fixed to them in order to allow movement, as well as directing it. In this particular case I refer to the component responsible for movement, generators of the same: the muscles.
But there are other types of tissues involved, perhaps … in a way … undervalued?
The fact is that these other components, contain cells that perhaps ignore their function, but that fulfill an equally important for that great EVERYTHING that is the movement.
Articulation and why do our fingers thunder
More than once, I imagine that the reader of this article has had the experience of having to suffer the inconveniences generated by riding an old, rusty bicycle. Imagine then the components of a bicycle, the movement is generated by the pedals, which by means of mechanical force will turn a chain that will give impetus to the wheels and with this the movement will be generated. Understanding the union of these concepts, we distinguish that these parts in order to function optimally, need to be provided with materials that, while not generating the movement, will allow it to be optimal. Returning to the example of the bicycle, so that a chain allows the wheels to turn, it must be in good condition, and be provided with oil, to allow greater fluidity.
Let's associate the idea of a bicycle chain with a joint. As we stated earlier, other types of tissues allow the union between one or more bones, and in turn substances produced between and by these, will be responsible for oiling the system. Allowing thus, a better movement. The person in charge of this fluidity in the joints of an animal, is known as: Synovial fluid.
Synovial fluid is a substance that is found in the space between the junction of two bones. It is formed by the liquid part of the blood, the latter being filtered from the cells of the capsular tissues that line the bones, and then filling the joint space.
Its function? Reduces friction between cartilage and other tissues in the joints to lubricate and cushion them during movement.
How do the joint components participate in the
cracking of fingers?
The sounding of the fingers is related to the synovial fluid, since it enters one of its components, contains gases. In the synovial fluid of the joint, the gases that accumulate are: oxygen (O2), carbonic anhydride (CO2) and Nitrogen (N2). These generate an increase in volume at first, where the previously formed gases interact with each other. Uniting as bubbles, that when we apply pressure or distend the joint in question, what we will do is release pressure contained in these gases, diluting these bubbles by separating the bones in the joint, generating that distinctive noise.
If you wonder how it is that after a certain time your fingers sound again, this is because the gases once dissolved, will concentrate while the joint returns to its original position, returning to form bubbles with each other, to that these are eventually … dilute again, "crunch" again.
So, snapping your fingers is bad?
So, if the physiology of this sound is generated by the synovial fluid, under normal conditions, and by normal mechanisms … How can it be related to diseases such as arthritis?
There are no proven scientific studies that endorse that performing this practice causes us short or long term damage. As related to any disease, not only goes against the mechanism by how it occurs, but in how it generates (etiology) that particular disease that we relate. The typical example is arthritis, which is inflammation of the joints. Very little has to do the noise caused by our fingers at the origin of this condition, much less now that we learned … by the gases that generate such noise.
This inflammation, its origin can be linked to autoimmune processes, with deposition of crystals, infections, and even to be generated by damage to the nervous system (neuropathic arthritis).
The definitive experiment which shows whether it is bad or not to blow your fingers
One of the most curious and ingenious demonstrations is that of Donald L. Unger, of Thousand Oaks, California, United States.
This scientist used himself as a laboratory mouse, and for 60 years, every day, he cracked his knuckles on his left hand, but not those on his right.
After all these years, he compared the state of his joints with both hands, checking that it was similar. This simple but effective experiment, which hides a huge dose of dangerous intuition, makes us conclude perhaps a little sharply, but intelligently, that the physiological mechanism of this characteristic noise is harmless. Then, more serious systematic studies arrived, that all they did was reinforce the previous idea:
Crunching your fingers does not produce
diseases, It does not damage the joints!
There are many social myths, and related to health, hundreds of them. In this particular case, we are fortunate that they are harmless myths, because it does not put people's lives at risk; To mistakenly believe that blowing one's fingers is harmful does not imply that the person abandons a treatment or does not attend a doctor, or other similar serious situations, which, like many other myths related to the field of health, generate great perjury. That is why it is important that we question beliefs, even the dumbest, in any area, going to the root of the problem (if it exists), to reach the much needed essence.