How to Crack Your Thumb – Learn Pain-Free Thumb Cracking Tips


Whenever you bend your fingers towards the inner side, you may hear a “popping,” clicking, or cracking sound. Sometimes this sound gives you a sense of relaxation while sometimes it’s very annoying for you as well for someone else. Somehow, you hear a thumb clicking sound caused by ulnar collateral ligament surgery, “rheumatoid arthritis” and “tenosynovitis” are a severe problem you may face cracking sound. Before starting, do you know how to crack your thumb? It would help if you learned all pros and cons and all “risk factors” of thumb cracking.

Why People Crack their Thumbs?

According to studies, around 54% of people crack their thumbs for the below reasons, though their reasons vary. Here are some of them:

  • Nervousness – Some people tend to crack their thumbs for diverting their mind, especially when they’re nervous.
  • Sound – While this might sound absurd, there are actually people who like cracking their knuckles simply due to the sound it makes.
  • Stress – Some people crake their thumbs for releasing stress.
  • Habit – Meanwhile, there are people who developed the habit of cracking their thumbs as habit. When you crack your knuckles several times a day, it’ll end up becoming a habit.

Fortunately, cracking your thumbs shouldn’t cause you a lot of pain or even result in swelling. However, if any of them happens, you have to check if there’s something wrong.

Though not easy, pulling hard enough might cause your finger to get pulled out of the joint. In some cases, it might even injure the ligaments that are located around the joint.

“Trigger thumb”:

Triggering thumb causes the medically known term “Stenosing tenosynovitis,” in which tendon sheaths can become thickened and inflamed; when this situation happens, it makes it difficult to bend the affected fingers smoothly towards the tendon sheath.

  • Tendon Sheath: It’s a tunnel-like structure that holds the tendon to the bone.
  • Most people feel a “locking” or catching feeling when they bend their thumb, which is stiff and painful. 
  • A study of 48 children gives the exact percentage of 80% of cured children who did the daily exercise to fix the trigger thumb.

Symptoms of trigger thumb:

  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Inability to fully extend the thumb
  • Thumb locked in a flexed position
  • Pain that becomes alarming to the palm.
  • A clicking or popping feeling when you move your thumb.
  • It’s may your thumb “locks” in a bent position, and you can’t make it straight.

Causes of trigger thumb:

According to research, some factors put you at a high risk of developing the trigger thumb situation, including:

Activities: Activities that require prolonged use of hand-on a regular basis which needs movements and gripping such as:

  • Playing an instrument
    • Writing
    • Climbing a rock
    • Any hobby that requires the prolonged holding of a small device

Jobs: Jobs that require forceful hand use, such as

  • Long-distance truck driving
    • Farming
    • Industrial workers.

Health conditions: Chronic health conditions can increase your chances of developing thumb trigger such as;

  • Diabetes
    • Rheumatoid arthritis
    • Gout

Gender: It’s a common problem in “women” as they have to do household work.

Age: It’s a widespread problem in people’s age from 40-60 years.

Carpal tunnel syndrome surgery:

  • One of the significant complications that can occur is “trigger finger,” which can occur during the first 6 months of surgery.

Treatment of trigger thumb:

Trigger thumb treatment is performed by a physiotherapist who aims to reduce pain, break down scar tissues, and improve your “range of motion.” Treatment may involve simple steps, “steroid injections,” and or surgery depending on the problem’s root.

  • Therapeutic ultrasound to remove scar tissues and reduce pain
  • Soft tissue work to break down scar tissue
  • Physiotherapist gives you massage therapy to increase blood flow
  • Stretch and “exercise” to improve range of motion.
  • Tendon sheath exercise to improve movement and lessen pain
  • He gives self-exercising education to patients and activity modification to ease symptoms.

Cracked Skin:

  • Cracked skin of the fingers is usually caused by continuous contact with moisture, such as direct contact with washing dishes or continuously washing your hands.
  • Moreover, cracked and “dry skin” can be treated at home.
  • An ideal length of the white-colored fingers extended beyond the cuticle is 1/8th of an inch.

Understanding your “knuckles”:

Popping or cracking your knuckles can involve too many factors, such as:

  • It releases tension in your figures
  • It keeps your hands busy.
  • Annoying for peoples around you.

How to Crack Your Thumb

Step 1: Gripping, Pressing, twisting, and cracking:

  • When you see any loss during an exciting game or play, you clench your hand and put it firmly, on the other hand, to hide your anger. Same like this example, clench your hand to make it interlock.
  • In the same condition as you clench your hand, now suddenly open your fingers and start pushing slightly into each knuckle. Start cracking from your middle knuckles, then move to the top. If it doesn’t happen and the finger starts paining, leave the finger and crack the other fingers.
  • There is one of the most effective ways to crack an entire “row of knuckles” at once. 1st time it will be painful, but you will feel comfortable when trying this method:
  • 1st put one hand in a fist, then clench your other hand around and push it.
  • This way, you can crack the whole row at once.
  • Make a fist; concentrate on popping one finger at a time.
    • Then press down at a time with your thumb either on top of your finger or press it down to make a pop with your hand. 
    • This way is useful as you will get a louder pop sound.
  • There is also one method in which you can crack a finger without making a fist.
    • First of all, close your hands in a straight clapping position, then move your hand apart while pressing the fingers.
    • Move your palms upward and keep pressing hardly until you hear a pop or crack sound.
    • “Middle finger” and ring finger needs more force while you can crack other fingers with a little twist.
  • Twisting method: By following 2 ways, you can do cracking by making twist:
    • Take one hand and wrap it around a single finger. Now swing your hand fastly while holding your finger stable can give you a good crack. By repeating this procedure to your fingers will provide you with good results, but what you need? You only need practice.
    • You can do it for “thumb joint” too; grip it a little higher.
    • In another way, grab your knuckle with the help of your other hand in the opposite direction and twist it.

Why your knuckles crack

Our joints are a combination of bone, tendons, and ligaments, filled with synovial fluid. When you stretch your finger, this fluid volume increases and give a popping sound by absorbing it into the gas bubbles; once you make a crack wait for 15 minutes to reset the liquid again to its original position.

You must remember one thing, sometimes making wrong attempts can lead you to severe medical attention such as arthritis, joints injury, and many more.

Neck cracking:

Cracking is a regular habit that anyone can do, and it can be done on different parts of the body like feet, toes, fingers, hands, back, and neck. When too much tired, some people hold their shoulder up and tightly firm it to make crack. Doing this step can release pressure from your shoulders and neck and make you fully relax. 

  • Some people tightly move their neck left and right and release pressure; thus, it sounds like cracking in the neck. But if you have a sudden crack neck, then it may result in many serious problems.

What Happens if You Have Cracked Skin in Your Thumbs or Fingers?

In some cases, the skin on your fingertips can crack due to the skin barrier getting compromised. This will make it rather uncomfortable for you to crack your knuckles, especially if you already have it as a habit. Skin peeling on the fingertips, even on the thumbs, isn’t really uncommon.

Fortunately, it can be easily resolved with the help of home remedies and other certain products. Depending on the cause of your cracked skin, you might want to try any of these treatment methods:

Liquid Bandage

A liquid bandage is designed to deal with deep skin cracks. It works by holding your cracked skin together, thereby allowing it to heal. The best part is that it’s available over-the-counter, below with more details.

However, when using a liquid bandage, you have to avoid using creams or ointments as well since it has to stick to your skin.

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Skin Protectant Cream

A skin protectant cream is designed to deal with cracked skin and prevent it from worsening. This type of product tends to be effective as it also revitalizes the skin and can get absorbed pretty quickly.

There are a lot of skin protectant cream products out there such as the multi-use herbal formula from Zim’s and Gold Bond’s ultimate skin protectant cream.

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Moisturizers

Dry skin is often one of the main reasons for skin cracking, hence if your thumb has dry skin, the best thing you can do to avoid cracking is to keep yourself properly hydrated. This can be made possible with the help of a moisturizer for extremely dry skin.

Creams and ointments are often ideal since they have the ability to help your skin retain moisture. You can also consider products that have shea butter, olive oil, coconut oil, or jojoba oil.

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Finger Cots

Finger cots, likewise known as finger condoms, are a form of protection that you wear on your fingers. They provide protection for your injured finger, thereby keeping it safe from further exposure and trauma. If you suffer from cracked skin on due to the habit of cracking your thumbs, then finger cots can come in handy.

A finger cot can come in various materials. You can find finger cots made of rubber latex, nitrile rubber, or vinyl. There are also some that are made of cotton which makes them breathable and protective.

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Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum jelly can treat skin cracking on your thumbs and fingers by simply sealing and protecting the cracked skin. It also has the ability to lock in moisture, thereby allowing the cracked skin to heal faster.

You simply have to apply it on the cracked skin, then cover the area using gauze or bandage. Make sure to repeat the application three times per day until the cracked skin on your thumbs has fully recovered.

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How to Crack Your Thumb: FAQ

Why can I crack my thumb?

All of our joints are a combination of bone, tendons, and ligaments, filled with synovial fluid. When you stretch your finger, this fluid volume increases and give a popping sound by absorbing it into the gas bubbles; once you make a crack wait for 15 minutes to reset the liquid again to its original position.

You must remember one thing, sometimes making wrong attempts can lead you to severe medical attention such as arthritis, joints injury, and many more.

Is it bad to crack your fingers?

No, it’s not bad to crack your finger. But you must remember one thing, sometimes making wrong attempts can lead you to severe medical attention such as arthritis, joints injury, and many more.

A person crack fingers only for his inner satisfaction as he enjoyed popping sound. Even I also enjoyed popping sound. Sometimes it hurts, but it resolves itself, so I never worried about pain. I use the twisting method, but I am afraid of clench my fingers with one hand; it doesn’t hurt, but I don’t feel comfortable with this method.

Why does popping joints feel good?

Cracking is an everyday habit that anyone can do, and it can be done on different parts of the body like feet, toes, fingers, hands, back, and neck. When too much tired, some people hold their shoulder up and tightly firm it to make crack. Doing this step can release pressure from your shoulders and neck and make you fully relax. 

Conclusion

To conclude this topic, I discuss different cracking methods: your knuckles, fingers, neck, and shoulder. I also discuss how to trigger thumb is dangerous for your thumb; trigger thumb is caused by different problems such as prolonged use of hands in various activities either it’s writing or playing an instrument, or if you have forceful job involved farming and industrial worker or if you have rheumatoid arthritis. Too much use of your hand in water can cause cracked skin of fingers. I hope you learn how to crack your thumb and knuckles. Also, you can crack your knuckles row at a time, and it means you k only have to make a fist of one hand and, by using the other hand push it. In this way, you will get cracks in all your knuckles.

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