OK - I guess I've put myself into 'guinea pig' status - lol - but in the interest of science and entertainment, I have had this condition for about 7 years now starting with shoulder aches and developing to where I had to have an operation on that shoulder. It is bi-lateral in that the left shoulder and arm are now experiencing the same problems and will most probably result in an operation as well. Bi-lateral carpal tunnel developed about 2 years ago.
I crack methodically throughout the day to provide range of motion and discomfort relief as required - some days are worse than others but these procedures sometimes involve a consecutive and adjoining series of cracks to get the desired result. For example, I may have to crack 2 or three fingers in my right hand either sideways or by pulling them and then my right elbow and then my right shoulder and then my right cervical spine which altogether gives relief for the arm and neck. Other times it may be only the right clavicle sternum joint and then the neck. Other times maybe only a single joint like the neck. It occurs as required when my body parts are giving me discomfort signals which always results in the need to crack them. This is what I find most odd about it - my body is actually displacing the joints either by autonomous muscle or tendon contraction or joint synovial fluid NO2 build-up which causes me to know automatically which joint to crack and to what extent. Even single digit joints like the thumb or a toe.
Now every medical professional I have not only explained this to but actually demonstrated and called the cracks before hand feels that I either just have hyper-flexive joints or they look at me like I am on the verge of being psychotic. I think I may have some invasive condition or may be the result of environmental exposures - like heavy metals etc that may be causing this and will continue to slowly attack various areas of my body. I have recently started getting right hip pains and have to crack my right ankle and knee to relieve them. I have also had bone spurs occur and there is a bump about the size of a grape on my right upper sternum where the first rib joins which the doctors says is probably coastal chondritis. I am of the opinion that all these are inter-connected and a result of something either chemically or biophysically out of balance in my system.
What I find truly remarkable in all this is that there does not appear to be anyone else out there suffering from these problems tied to joint cracking.
It may be that I am the first and others from your generations may develop similar problems. I have 3 sons and two of them have the same joint cracking needs in most of their joints but do not have any pain or abnormal conditions yet.
Hopefully I haven't bored you all but there it is and I now step out of the spotlight to resume my place as a junior jointcracker.
No you haven't bored me lol, i find it interesting reading about other people's joint cracking, specially when i can relate it to myself!