One of the many questions been asked through out. Well, here's a bit of a legitimate source that may help narrow the tracks down.
I kinda am in agreement with it too.
Every now and then I crack my knuckles and sometimes my other joints creak and pop too. I'm not even that old, really! Should I be concerned? Are my noisy joints bad?
Cracking sounds on your joints can definitely sound—if not feel—alarming. It's probably happened to all of us, though, whether from cracking knuckles on purpose or just hearing popping sounds when stretching. I talked to a few medical experts to find out what's going on and whether or not all this noise is a sign of a medical issue. Here's what they said.
It's Usually Harmless
Commonly, joints make an audible cracking sound when the joint is stretched or manipulated due to gas inside the joint fluid or synovial fluid. Common gases in the joint are O2 (Oxygen) and N (Nitrogen). When you flex and stretch your fingers in order to "crack your knuckles", the capsule around the joint which contains this gas filled fluid causes the bubbles to burst which causes that sound. The sound may be loud or dull. Often, you have to wait a period of time before the sound can be heard again, if you manipulate the joint. It takes time for the gas bubbles to reform in the joint.
Sometimes the sounds are coming from muscle bellies. Other times they are coming from the deeper joint structures - tendons, ligaments, and discs. Sometimes the sounds aren't "cracking sounds" at all, but rather, inflammation in the joints that is "squishing around" with movement. These are the noises someone might hear continuously when they turn their heads side to side. Ideally, turning your head does not make any noise. Joint mice may contribute to the sounds. These sounds are collectively usually referred to as "crepitus".
Based on clinical experience, it seems that tension builds up and allows for the joints to "crack" or release. Inactivity seems to increase the need... whereas frequent movement and stretching seems to not only decrease the need, but also even the possibility of of cracking the joints.
An interesting observation is that humans learn to disobey their need for movement. Cats and dogs seem to stretch out their bodies, with an emphasis on their spines, after every period of inactivity. Kids seem to stretch after inactivity too. But adults tend to get up and go about their sedentary days. No wonder their joints crack... or need cracking…
When You Might Want to Consult a Doctor
Individuals who have painful grinding and creaking joints that started after an injury or trauma to their joints may have arthritis. This is not a good thing. Arthritis occurs when the protective cartilage lining of a joint has been damaged or eroded. This can occur from an injury, age, or an even inflammatory condition like rheumatoid arthritis.
If you have had an injury, for example to your hips or knee and experience significant hip and or knee pain, as well as popping of your joints, you may have arthritis in these areas. I recommend an evaluation by your healthcare practitioner. After an appropriate history and physical exam, they may order the necessary radiographic tests to evaluate the joint. Arthritis is common and pain with creaking and popping in any joint warrants proper evaluation by your doctor.
One really fun paper was what we call an "n of 1" study - some guy (Dr. DL Unger) decided to only crack one hand his whole life, and see what happened. He then published the result. Bottom line: the cracked knuckle was bigger, but none the worse for wear.