Why does my neck crack

Neck cracking and popping, as well as the sounds from other joints that are bent is known as articular release. This articular release is seen in people with both healthy joints and people with joint dysfunction, so there is no clear reason why the release is clearly audible in some people, while it is silent in others. One of the causes of the cracking sound you hear when you pop your neck is the distance between articular surfaces once they’ve experienced a release. While this is a common cause of the sound, not all sounds which you hear from your joints signify an articular release.

Many scientists have been researching these noises to discover just what causes the cracking sound. One popular hypothesis is that the noise which frequently accompanies popped joints is either anatomic, physiologic, or functional models of articular release. There are some myths circulating which state that neck popping, finger popping, and any other forms of joint popping are bad for your joints, as they increase the chance of arthritis. This isn’t true, as studies have shown that joints in people who frequently pop them are less likely to develop arthritis than those who don’t.

In addition to this study, it has been shown that repeated problems from articular release can occur, such as hyper-mobility. Frequent articular release loosens the ligaments and tendons which join your joints together, which in turn makes them more flexible. This is called hyper-mobility, or being double-jointed, since fingers and other joints which are hyper-mobile can move in ways other joints shouldn’t. While there are no inherent medical risks to being hyper-mobile, or popping joints which are hyper-mobile, it should be noted that these joints are often susceptible to injury more so than joints which are not hyper-mobile.

Of course, this condition mostly applies to the hands, toes, and knees. It is very rare for a neck to be hyper-mobile, though in some cases people are able to look behind themselves in an almost 180 degree turn, as their necks are hyper-mobile. It is unclear if they achieved this through repeated articular release, or if they were born this way.
Regardless, neck cracking and popping is a perfectly normal and healthy activity and it should cause no problems in a daily routine. The only cause for concern is if pain is experienced during a neck crack.