How to train a new joint to crack

  • Community Lead

    JoJo_Ma posed an interesting question:

    What I find personally intriguing is the fact that you can train your joints to crack (most recently done with my elbows). How's that possible?

    PJ posted an experience with a chiropractor after which new joints could be cracked.

    If you look at the cause theory of Hypermobile Joints / Lax liagments it kinda makes sense that you can "learn" and "unlearn" crackable joints.

    The only thing you need to do to instruct a new joint is to stretch the surrounding liagments bit for bit until you can bend / flex the joint far enough to crack it. If you do this often enough the joint will get hypermobile which will make it easier and easier to do follow-up pops.
    Alas, the more often you do this, the more tensed up the affected liagments will get and hence the stronger your desire to crack your "new" joint again and again and again ad infinitum. :roll:

    In closing I'd like to welcome JoJo_Ma to our friendly community / anonymous joint cracking support group!

  • At least for me, the first time a new finger or toe joint was cracked the sound was very muffled and sometimes associated with some discomfort. After repeated manipulations the characteristic cracking sound became audible and the sensation became enjoyable.

    (There's probably a lesson of some sort within that experience.)

  • i def think one can train their joints to crack.

    for example i remember attempting lots of different pulling and twisting motions to make my neck and back crack until i could get the 'crack!'.

    now i guess it is a constant.

  • my brilliant crack training idea was me bending my knee, and yelling 'crack!', in the hopes it would listen and learn to do it itself.

    it didn't.

    but it clicks now when i bend it, because i bashed it on a door and it went all strange and out of place.

    i'm a tad clumsy.

  • yep i def think u can train and learn how to crack ur joints.

    i recall when i first learnt how to crack my neck, whereby to begin with there was nothing. but then i learnt when i woke up after sleeping that by pulling my neck from side to side i could get many pops!

    after doing that for a while i was (and still able) to simply move my neck to crack it - which i think stems from the initial learnt response.

  • Yes i do think it is possible.

    In films you always see people interlocking their fingers and pushing out, i used to do that and then after a while you are able to actually crack the fingers.

  • i dont think i'd want to train many new joints!

  • Same

  • i'd like to train some joints to uncrack.. but not all

  • Most definitely the same there.

  • yeah i reckon most people would be

  • I don't.

  • @bod8 @blaze I've trained joints to crack and to uncrack. I actually kind of regret the uncracked ones, but since so many people in the forums here dislike their cracking I'll share what happened to me... The more you crack a joint the easier it becomes to do, and vice versa.

    One is my left knee. At one time my knees were the easiest joint to crack. They usually had "a crack there" (my term for when you can tell a joint will pop if you move it right--I think my body can tell there is air there), and even if they didn't I could "set them up" by bending and unbending my knee while pulling backwards on it very lightly with my hand such that it was now crackable. I like cracking my joints but I felt like I'd taken the knees too far... they cracked every time I straightened them, no matter how little time had passed. (People say sounds that happen that often are ligaments popping, not air pressure released, but it was definitely a true crack; the cracks have been the same my whole life, just more or less often, and they couldn't pop continuously, it was a pressure release, it was just that they could fill again after about 10 seconds. I also didn't need to manipulate them very far or fast to pop them anymore.)

    I ceased intentionally cracking them. I also avoided movements that made them crack: I would unbend them, stand up, etc very slowly so they wouldn't pop. That was the hardest part because most movements made them crack, but it's doable. My knees fill up when they're bent, so I would keep my legs straight whenever possible. You know that feeling when you try to crack a joint, and it almost goes but not quite, and is now impossible to crack? I usually find it maddening but I did it on purpose to my knees sometimes. They improved after not very long. My right knee is normal now, I crack it maybe 0-3 times a day, and my left knee is hard to crack and almost never fills up on its own, I have to do the hand trick.

    The 2nd joint on my thumbs were similar where I could crack them every few seconds. Same thing, definitely a genuine crack, I can just crack them up to 3 or even 5 times before all the air is gone and they fill up fairly quickly between rounds. I have a harder time explaining what I did with this one... I was trying to crack the right side and I knew while I was doing it "don't move it that way, you'll screw up the crack" but I wasn't careful because part of me thought that wouldn't be such a bad thing... it almost-cracked and was gone, but the weird thing is, the joint's been totally different since! It used to match the left side, which I can still get every few minutes. I'm hoping cracking it normally will fix it but no luck so far... I can only get it when I wake up and stuff now and I have to be careful. Actually I think that's what part of sealed the deal though-- you untrain the joint by doing the movement that usually makes it crack without getting the sound, which is what I accomplished by trying to pop it so often.

    The last is my back and neck. I stopped cracking them because my neck was kind of hard and I need to brace myself against a chair for the back. I used to be able to get them if I tried; then I went a few years where I almost never tried. I can often still get my back, but only once or twice in the first direction I twist, and it feels very stiff.

    I definitely think there's more to training joints than just the ligaments.

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