Monthly Archives: July 2015

Hand Conditions 101 | Cracking Knuckles and Arthritis

By | Hand Relief | No Comments


For people who regularly crack their knuckles and joints, one common thing they hear is that it can cause damage. In this blog, we’ve taken a look at the myths associated with cracking knuckles and hand conditions such as arthritis.

What happens when you crack your knuckles?

Your joints are lubricated by synovial fluid. When your fingers are extended, the gases in the synovial fluid form bubbles in between the joint cavities. When you crack your fingers, the pressure of that bubble increases very suddenly and at a rapid pace, causing the bubble to pop and make the cracking noise. A recent study asserts that the act of cracking your knuckles creates a cavity in the synovial fluid found in the joints, and the sound heard is that cavity forming.

Once a person cracks his or her knuckles, it usually takes 20 to 30 minutes before they’re able to do it again. While some people experience relief when cracking their joints, others crack their knuckles out of habit. Regardless of the reason, there has been a long-held myth that cracking knuckles can contribute to arthritis.

Hand Conditions and Cracking Your Knuckles

Studies have shown there is little to no connection between cracking knuckles and arthritis in the hands. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to worry about.

People who crack their knuckles on a constant basis have been shown to be at a higher risk of inflammation in the hands and developing a weaker handgrip. There’s also the possibility of injuring your fingers. And while cracking your knuckles has not been found to cause these hand conditions, joints that make a cracking or popping sound on their own could be indicative of hand conditions such as bursitis, arthritis and tendinitis. Severe forms of those conditions in extreme cases may require hand surgery to relieve the symptoms and improve hand movement.

Ultimately, cracking your knuckles most likely won’t cause arthritis, but it is still a good habit to break to prevent injury, swollen hands or a weak grip. For more information on hand conditions you think you might be experiencing, talk to your doctor or specialist.


Back Pain Relief During Pregnancy

By | Spine Relief | No Comments


As pregnancy progresses, it’s not uncommon for expectant mothers to begin experiencing back pain as their bodies change. However, understanding what triggers the pain and possible ways to alleviate it can greatly benefit mothers-to-be and help them find the upper or lower back pain relief they are looking for.

What triggers back pain in pregnancy?

A pregnant woman’s body goes through many drastic changes in a short period of time. These changes may enable her to carry her child safely, but they do little to make her feel comfortable or pain-free. Back pain during pregnancy is triggered by a number of changes the body undergoes:

  • Weight gain.

    Typically, a woman can gain anywhere from 25-35 pounds during pregnancy. The back has to compensate for the extra weight it’s carrying around, causing discomfort and pain.

  • Physical and hormonal changes.

    As a woman’s body prepares for childbirth, hormones are released into the body that enable joints and ligaments to loosen and become more pliable. This may cause some discomfort and pain. In addition, a woman’s expanding uterus may cause her rectal abdominis muscles, which run parallel to each other on the right and the left from the pubic bone to the ribcage, may separate at the center, making the pain worse.

  • Changing posture.

    A pregnant woman’s center of gravity moves to the front. To compensate, a woman may adjust her posture to even things out, but that may not always help. In fact, the strain may cause more pain and discomfort.

What to do for back pain relief?

Fortunately, although there are many reasons for being in pain, there are also many alternatives for pregnant women to experience back pain relief. Whether the focus is on lower back or upper back pain relief, here are some tips that can help the expectant mother enjoy her pregnancy pain-free:

  • Keep good posture.

    That means standing as straight and tall as possible, sitting in chairs with good support and keeping shoulders and knees relaxed.

  • Use pregnancy or body pillows to keep a good posture while sleeping

    . Pregnant women should lie on their side with knees bent for minimal stress to the back.

  • Wear low-heeled shoes

    to maintain good posture and balance, as well as maintaining good support.

  • Regular massages

    can help ease the tension in the back and alleviate pain. Other forms of treatments, such as chiropractic care, can bring further back pain relief.

  • Stay physically active

    . Depending on a doctor’s recommendation, expecting women can engage in physical activity to strengthen their back and help alleviate discomfort.

Regardless of how a woman finds back pain relief, it’s important to recognize when to see a professional. If you or a loved one experiences chronic pain while pregnant, talk to your doctor for the best approach for a pain management plan.