We’ve got some news for those that engage in that little known habit called knuckle-cracking: It might actually be GOOD for you!

A recent study conducted by professors, radiologists and hand surgeons at the University of California Davis set out to prove the opposite: That in addition to being annoying, knuckle-cracking was a bad, bad habit that proved strenuous on joints and ligaments inside the knuckles (which would hopefully stop hand surgeon Robert Szabo’s nurse Tanya Johnson from driving him nuts with her incessant cracking).


The study, however, which saw the group examining 30 knuckles both pre-and-post crack and comparing them to the knuckles of 10 non-crackers, actually proved the opposite. Those that had engaged in a crack actually saw increased range of motion, and none of the hand swelling or waning grip strength the researchers had expected, despite witnessing what radiologist Dr. Robert Boutin described as a “firework exploding on the joint.”

Hand Massage

“We found that there was no immediate disability in the knuckle crackers in our study, although further research will need to be done to assess any long-term hazard — or benefit — of knuckle cracking,” Boutin said.

So what gives? Rehabilitative Medicine Specialist Dr. Greg Kawchuck told CNN he believes that the harmful rumors may have originated as a white lie to avoid annoyance “It’s just my personal opinion, but I got the feeling that some of these people felt so grossed out by it that they created these myths,” he said.

“After reviewing the evidence, I strongly believe it’s not harmful,” Szabo said — even if it DOES mean Tanya will forever be annoying him.

Are you guilty of this “bad habit”? Share with us over @BritandCo!

(h/t CNN, photos via Getty)