Many people take great joy in cracking their knuckles, while others are so annoyed by the act it sends them into fits.
But one study shows the practice isn't as harmful as often believed. In fact, it may even be good for you.
See also: Five myths about arthritis
For some time, Dr. Robert Szabo, a professor of radiology at University of California, had been telling a habitual knuckle-cracking nurse to stop as she was putting herself in peril - so she told him to prove it.
In an effort to do just that, Dr. Szabo and a team of researchers recorded the knuckle cracking of 40 participants ranging from long-time devotees of popping and pulling to those with no history of the behaviour.
Ultrasounds were taken as the cracking occurred, and tests to measure grip strength and swelling were conducted afterwards.
Not only were no immediate harmful effects found, the researchers noted participants immediately experienced an increased mobility range. As for the long-term effects, other studies have found fabled consequences, such as arthritis, aren't likely a significant threat.