Did you know you can crack your own elbow? This crazy party trick is a common sight among party-goers and is also known as ‘self-fracturing’. This bizarre phenomenon occurs when the bony capsule around your elbow joint experiences a fracture and produces an audible snap when performing certain movements. Self-fracturing can be done by anyone with little effort and risk, but be cautious if you have any pre-existing conditions in your elbow. Read on to discover the mechanics behind self-fracturing, how to crack your elbow, and the potential risks of this activity.
How To Crack Your Elbow?
Step 1: Find the spot
There are two common spots on the elbow joint where you can pop a joint. The first spot is on the inside of the elbow, just above the wrist. The second spot is on the outside of the elbow, just below the wrist. To find the best spot, gently bend your elbow and rotate your arm until you feel a “click” or a “pop.” This means that you’ve found the right spot! For the outside joint, you’ll feel the click or pop as you straighten your arm and rotate your arm back down. The inside joint is slightly trickier to find, but it’s also easier on the wrist so that’s a plus.
Step 2: Grip and pull
With your fingers wrapped around your arm, slowly and steadily pull your arm away from your body, keeping your elbow bent. The click or pop should occur when you’ve pulled your arm back to about a 90-degree angle. If you don’t feel a pop, slowly and steadily push your arm back toward your body and try again. If you experience pain or discomfort, stop!
Step 3: Rotate your arm
This step creates a “pinch” in the joint so that your ligaments can pop out of the way. Once your elbow joint is loose, rotate your arm several times in a small circular motion. This helps the joint pop back into place, and you’ll feel a sudden relief of pain.
Step 4: Hook your thumb
For this step, you’ll need to hook your thumb around your palm while your other fingers are wrapped around your elbow. Gently pull your palm toward your elbow while rotating your arm slightly. You’ll feel a slight pinch, but that’s normal—your ligaments are just being repositioned! This step is crucial because it repositions your wrist tendons, which are often the culprit when you experience elbow pain.
Step 5: Optional extra step
If your elbow pain persists, you can try a simple pressure point technique called “applying the brakes.” Place your thumb at the base of your palm and slowly apply pressure, moving your thumb up your wrist toward your elbow. This pressure point technique helps disperse the pain from your elbow and into your hand so that it no longer feels like it’s in your elbow!
Why Does The Elbow Joint Self-Fracture?
The elbow joint is susceptible to the same forces and risk factors as the rest of the bones in your body, which means breaking your elbow is not completely out of the equation! While it’s still possible to self-fracture your arm, doing this can also lead to potentially more devastating complications:
Bone Growth: Your bone growth processes cause you to “grow old” at an earlier age. When this happens, the materials in your bone decay and are replaced by plastic; this turns into bone “frizzies” (fuzzy spots) over time. These areas affect the functioning of bone at and around joints. As well as potentially causing problems that repair themselves, like bursitis (a form of arthritis), flares of arthritis can promote osteoarthritis (otherwise known as arthritis) symptoms.
Injury or Injury Repeatedly: Finally, not all students trying for self-fracturing have poor judgment about their health or training ability – many athletes engage in this activity to help improve their mechanics out on the field or court! Injuries resulting from self-wrenching repetitive banging on keys comprise a real risk for soccer players and are generally self-limiting (at least initially).
Patellar Tendonitis, Patellar Luxation: If you bang too hard or when you come down from a jump, there is a strong chance that pubic bruising will occur. On down plays if you hit your knee quickly
Benefits Of Elbow Cracking
Stress relief – The most common and obvious benefit of elbow cracking is stress relief. The sudden release of air in the elbow joint acts as a mild massage, which helps you relax and reduce stress.
Improve blood circulation – Cracking your elbow also helps in improving blood circulation. More blood is pumped into the joint and surrounding muscles. This improves the overall health of your muscles.
Relieves pain – Joint pain is another common problem that is cured with elbow cracking. Cracking your elbow helps to relieve joint pain and stiffness in the elbow joint.
Strengthening bones – The sudden release of air in the elbow joint also helps in strengthening the bones. This is because more blood is pumped into the bones and they become healthier.
Better sleep – Cracking your elbow also helps in getting a good night’s sleep. This is because it helps in relaxing the muscles and also promotes blood circulation.
Potential Risks Of Cracking Your Elbow
As explained above, self-fracturing is caused by a break in the bony capsule surrounding the elbow joint. Normally, the joint’s bony capsule is extremely durable; however, wear and tear on the cartilage of the elbow joint weakens the capsule, making it more susceptible to breaks.
- Potential risks of frequent cracking of the elbow joint include long-term damage to the joint and even arthritic changes over time.
- Self-fracturing has been linked to a condition known as osteochondritis dissecans or OCD, where a portion of the bone in the elbow joint dies because of damage to the joint.
- Studies are inconclusive as to whether frequent cracking of the elbow joint truly causes OCD, but it is advised to take care when cracking your elbow.
Cracking your elbow is a fun party trick, but it can also be a sign of an underlying elbow injury. If you notice that cracking your elbow is causing pain, you should see your doctor and ask them to investigate the cause of the pain. If there is no pain associated with the snapping, then it is probably nothing to worry about. That being said, it is advised to crack your elbow only when necessary and be sure to keep your elbow joint loose and well-hydrated.
Can I prevent self-fracturing of my elbow?
There is no way to fully prevent the self-fracturing of your elbow, but there are several ways you can help avoid it. First, be sure to follow the doctor’s orders after surgery. This can include anything from not putting weight on your arm to not lifting anything heavier than five pounds. Second, use common sense while you are healing. Don’t try to do things that are beyond your physical capabilities while you’re healing
What are the causes of the twisted elbow?
The elbow is a complicated joint that allows your upper arm and lower arm to both rotate and move forward and backward. A twisted elbow occurs when the upper arm and lower arm are rotated in opposite directions, forcing the joint to bend in an unnatural position.
What is Self-fracturing?
Self-fracturing is the property of certain materials to spontaneously break into smaller pieces without the application of any external force or impact. This phenomenon can be observed in granular materials like sand, which break up into smaller grains, or in foams, which can break up into smaller bubbles. The process is a result of the rearrangement of the particles in the material and does not involve any chemical reactions.