I have heard that knuckle cracking causes arthritis. Do chiropractic manipulations cause arthritis?
Contrary to what you may have been told, knuckle cracking actually does not cause joint arthritis. However, frequent knuckle crackers tend to experience more joint stiffness later in life.
Regardless, spinal adjustments / manipulations are quite different than knuckle cracking. When a spinal manipulation is performed, the joint is momentarily slightly gapped, separating the joint surfaces. On the other hand, knuckle cracking actually grinds the joint surfaces together, potentially damaging them. There is no current evidence to suggest that chiropractic manipulative therapy is detrimental to your spinal joints.