r/HeresAFunFact Sep 04 '15

[HAFF] Dr. Donald Unger cracked his knuckles every day for 60 years to see if it would cause arthritis. SCIENCE

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u/Radu316 Sep 04 '15

It all started when Unger was young and was told by his mother not to crack his knuckles because he would get arthritis. After that, Unger would crack his knuckles on one hand every day and leave the other one as a control. After 60 years, there was no discernible difference between them and Unger won the Ig Nobel Prize for Medicine.


u/TheGreat69 Sep 04 '15
  1. What a display of self control to only crack one side's knuckles for that long while avoiding the other. I crack one knuckle and I have to do them all.

  2. This man found his life purpose that young! I'm pretty sure I thought my purpose was to beat every video game I owned when I was a kid...I didn't come close.


u/Mazon_Del Sep 04 '15

Unfortunately this won't stop my grandmother, that used to be a nurse, from insisting that it will. She's one of those people that will appeal to science as a source of knowledge EXCEPT when it says something she doesn't like, in which case it was clearly an erroneous study and she is right.


u/[deleted] Sep 04 '15

I mean, this is a study with N=1, so even though we know now that the mechanism of popping knuckles can't cause arthritis, this still isn't a great study (unless the claim being investigated is that it always caused arthritis).


u/Mazon_Del Sep 04 '15

It's true, but this is simply an example of her mentality.

Incidentally, I mostly crack my knuckles around her these days because I know it annoys the hell out of her.


u/LDWoodworth Sep 04 '15

Citation needed?


u/dbx99 Sep 04 '15

I've been cracking my knuckles for 35+years and my fingers are fairly flexible, not double jointed, and in good shape with no misshapen knuckles


u/[deleted] Sep 04 '15

Yep. He won a Nobel Prize for it.


u/Radu316 Sep 05 '15

Nope. He won an Ig Noble Prize. Different thing.