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Why does it feel good to pop your neck, fingers, and toes?

By March 19, 2013 - 2:11pm
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Hello Lizzy.REL,

That is a very good question.

Often referred to as "cracking your neck or knuckles", popping your joint causes the bones of the joint to pull apart. As it does, the connective tissue capsule that surrounds the joint is stretched. By stretching this capsule, you increase its volume. As the pressure of the synovial fluid, which surrounds all the joints in our bodies, drops, gases dissolved in the fluid become less soluble, forming bubbles through a process called cavitation. When the joint is stretched far enough, the pressure in the capsule drops so low that these bubbles burst, producing the popping sound.

According to howstuffworks, there's evidence of increased mobility in joints right after popping. When joints are manipulated, the Golgi tendon organs (a set of nerve endings involved in humans' motion sense) are stimulated and the muscles surrounding the joint are relaxed. This is part of the reason why people can feel "loose" and invigorated after leaving the chiropractor's office, where cavitation is induced as part of the treatment. Backs, knees, elbows and all other movable joints are subject to the same kind manipulation as knuckles are.

I hope this answers your question,


March 19, 2013 - 4:41pm
(reply to Maryann Gromisch RN)

Thank you, and yes that did answere my question.

March 20, 2013 - 3:26pm
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