ELBOWS! I mean really!

  • Does anyone else crack their elbows?? My boyfriend does it and it sounds painful! He like… pushes on his palm with the other hand and twists his arm and it pops really loud. I can't do it cuz I'm afraid it will hurt. But he says is 'hurts so good'. What do you guys think about it??

  • I can and have cracked my elbows, but I must admit it's not one of my favourites! It's more a disturbing feeling than relief…

  • I crack my elbows constantly and it feels great….I bend my lower arm toward my body, tense it and thenunbend it and there is a HUGE crack.

  • I crack my elbows quite often, and my knees as well. Usually I can only do each one about once a day, though. The knees in particular are very satisfying to crack.

  • Community Lead

    I have never cracked my elbows and after reading this tread I'm kinda glad I never felt the desire to do so. :lol:

  • I tend to crack my elbows after a period of them being relatively still - ie: after a while being at the desk/computer. I just extend my arms quickly to lockout and crack.

  • i crack my "bows" and other peoples, mostly just my friend allie's, but my left elbow seems to crack a lot better and more often than my right (i'm left handed, that may be the reason) I just extend my arm out all the way, pretty fast, and "lock" it for just a second or two and it cracks pretty loud. but to crack other people's (usually allie's) i take her arm and hold on to it with one hand (at her forearm) and put my other hand on her elbow and press down with the hand on her forearm and up on the hand on her elbow. sorta like im trying to break her arm. but she loves it. i also crack her fingers and her wrist

  • I pop my elbows, and just about everything else on my body. It drives my wife crazy, but not in a good way. I just stretch my arm staight out until it pops. My joints pops when I stretch, and I stretch extensively before I work out (about 5 days a week). It usually feels better once they pop, although I would very much like to stop.

  • I've popped my elbows too, and it sometimes doesn't feel too good. The "pop" sound is very low, and it's quite painful. But sometimes, I pop them and get a good pop!

  • I only crack my elbows maybe twice a day, but when I do look out. It's gnarly. I get a thoroughly satisfying crunch, not pop. Im sure I am damaging my elbows but they are destroyed from years of skateboarding anyway.

  • I can crack my elbows just by rotating my forearms a certain way. Sometimes I just extend the arms and make the elbow joints push "up", and sometimes rotate both forearms outward. The safe way I do it for my right elbow if the elbow is feeling tender is to cup the right elbow with the left hand and extend the right arm all the way out slowly with the palm facing up and away from the body. I can also pop them by pulling the arm all the way behind the back and pushing down on the elbow with the other arm. In fact, I can even pop it just by using the fingers of my left hand and "tightening"/massaging the joint a certain way.

    I practice baseball pitching a lot and am completely double-jointed, making me more flexible but also more injury prone. I've had no serious arm injuries the last few years since I developed a system of joint cracking and stretching to limber up the joints and muscles, but since getting away from it recently have had to go back to it. Anyway, when I feel that elbow hurting massaging the elbow to make it pop generally is a major factor in the recovery. Today for example, I really messed the elbow up so bad it was swelling up near the area during a softball game where I was in the outfield. I requested a move to the infield during the informal game but no one would swap. Anyway, I played through it and really messed myself up. Now just hours later my elbow is feeling good enough that I'll probably play on it again tomorrow, due to my long-time system involving elbow popping.

    I believe strategic manipulation of joints (I don't really have a "system" so much as just knowing what my body/joints feel like and how to manipulate them to achieve results) is key in making rapid recoveries from injury, which is why I pop my elbows and other joints. I believe it also keeps them more limber and effective in multiple activities including sports (I play baseball, basketball, and football every chance I get and even armwrestling, jogging, volleyball, and other activities occasionally as well) and typing. Despite years of typing in awkward positions at 60+ wpm (laying down with feet propped sideways on a chair or desk, a favorite position) I have zero arthritis or finger problems, I believe because of my cracking practices.

  • Community Lead

    ZPitcher, thank you very much for your elaborative post on your cracking "system". I'm glad to know your joint cracking helps you to achieve top performances and keep healthy joints.

    It is fascinating how different joint cracking works for different people.

    I would be curious to learn more about your system. Can you give an estimate how often you crack each joint over the course of a day or say a week? Or per hour, whatever unit you feel most appropriate.

    I understand you crack your joints not because you feel a strong desire to do so, but to counter-balance physical strain on your joints in a beneficial way.

  • I agree with ZPitcher that joint cracking can be beneficial in keeping healthy joints especially as I am not a very active person as I do most of my work sitting down at a desk. Alot of people who sit at a computer for hours at a time have pain in their wrists, back or whatever. I have no aches or pain to complain about, however, and when I do get active there are no adverse effects (except maybe sore muscles lol). I credit that to a little stretching and joint cracking.

    Alot of my joints crack, not just my elbows. I believe its because of the stiffening of my joints when I am not very active, like when I am sitting at my computer. When I get up after half an hour or so and stretch a bit all my joints crack or pop. They range from huge cracks in my knees and shoulders and tiny crackling in my spine and neck area. It feels sooo good!

    Cracking also happens when I overuse a joint, like say when I spend two hours furiously writing with a pen or pencil. The finger joints stiffen, especially my forefinger and to get it mobile I have to crack it. This is when it hurts to crack. I'm not a knuckle cracker though, I try to avoid it whenever possible, so maybe that's why I get pain in my fingers then. I find that cracking my wrist makes my hand feel better, so I do that every once in a while as a preventative measure.

    Cracking my shoulders also makes them feel them and the upper back area feel better. I think that there is a minor area of effect that relieves pain or stiffness around the area of the joint you are cracking. Combined with stretching, cracking joints is an effective way of relieving stress on your body. I do caution, however, that you shouldn't force your joints to crack, and that they should crack naturally when you stretch. Forcing a joint to crack can be very painful, and I say this from experience, and painful means harmful. A good way to crack a joint is by stretching, say your arm, and then rotating and while moving it, your arm, to the side or whatever.

  • i wish i could crack my left elbow. the only time it cracked was when i snapped my humerus, and because i'm a crazy little freak, i didn't rest it, and i now have severe arthritis in it, and when it's cold, it seizes up and i get a little t-rex arm. if i cracked it, my arm would probably fall off.

  • Oh yea, I can do that one. I just stretch my arm out, with tension on the elbow, and it'll pop. Usually about three or four times a day.

  • i pop my elbows all the time
    i can pop them about every 15 minutes
    i love popping them

  • (First time poster)

    I started my cracking journey with the elbow–I had been running in a parking lot and fell right on my elbow and had it in a cast forever and then when I was able to move it, it made the most lovely pop. Now I do it all the time also.

  • I can crack my elbows by using one hand to stabilize the arm then add resistance against the hand that stabilizing the arm. It is more of a pop then a crack. I've devolved this after breaking my arm and once it was healed the doctor who set the arm (aligned the bones back up) performed that crack on me and ever since then I "stole" it and now can do both elbows very well, although my left arm (the one I broke) pops a lot better than my right.

    BTW, if your reading this and want to try my method of cracking the elbows, make sure you move your elbow up and down because some spots it will crack and some spots it won't. You need to find the sweet spot. My right arm cracks at about a 45 degree angle in the elbow. My left cracks at a lesser degree than my right. Why? I have no idea. I'm I'm being obsessive about cracking them I start with my arm against my body then move farther and father away from the body just to make sure there are no more pops left.

    Starting out then going in is bad because it's more unnatural. I've popped it going in and it hurt very bad.

  • i can crack my right elbow nicely
    never had any of this knarly pain peaople are talking about

    my left usually wont crack though
    but im double jointed in that arm

    maybe thats why?

  • I crack both my elbows all the time. It has been a bad habit since I was about 11 or 12 when I noticed it. I always had a theory that it started because I was a cheerleader all my life. I think the over-extending all the time caused this. I can crack them VERY loud and a lot of people think its disturbing. My mom hated it and wouldn't let me crack around her.

    I can crack both of them just by shooting my arms out but I get a more satisying one when I exend them realllly slowly then twist my forearm. I can crack my right elbow one extra way by putting pressure on it. Yeah I know it is very weird. I can also crack my right thumb a lot. I developed that one from writing in school and using the pen putting pressure on my thumb. Actually, I think cracking must come from the joints that you constantly put more pressure on than others. However I think it can be learned this way also.

    I am the only one I know that can crack my elbows pretty much at will. I think I attempt cracking every 5 minutes or something, and after a while I felt like I looked stupid always flailing my arms so when I am somewhere I can be easily noticed, like at work, I use the slow extend way so I look like I am stretching and not constantly throwing my arms all over. lol :oops:

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