If you’ve ever popped or cracked your joints — by accident or on purpose — you’re not alone. There’s even a medical name for that crackling, clicking or popping sound your bones make: crepitus.
Popping joints can happen involuntarily, and you can experience it in your knees, neck, fingers, wrist or ankles. Or you might have a habit of cracking your joints, such as your knuckles, yourself. If you do, you probably know that you can’t pop all your joints, and once you’ve cracked a joint, you might not be able to crack it again for about 20 minutes.
But why do your joints make a sound when you pop them? And is it a harmful habit? Here’s what the experts say.