Whether you "crack" your knuckles or your knee "pops," you're probably familiar with a joint making a crazy sound and then releasing pressure.
When a joint is cracked, it is effectively extended beyond its natural range of motion. So is it ok to crack a joint?
It is thought that the popping or cracking sound is caused by gasses escaping from the lubricating fluid in the joint through tiny bubbles.
If you frequently crack your fingers, you've likely heard that the habit might lead to arthritis, which has been debunked.
To clarify, you are not necessarily causing harm. So long as you're not experiencing discomfort, you theoretically don't have to quit if you don't want to.
In some circumstances, cracking your joints can cause problems. Cracking joints too aggressively may cause muscular, tendon, or ligament injuries, but that's unusual.
Furthermore, some bodily parts are more vulnerable to injury than others when cracked; for example, the neck and spine are more vulnerable to injury than the fingers.
Continued joint cracking shouldn't require a doctor's appointment unless it hurts. Pain indicates a problem. Then, you need an orthopedist.