Hi all, I'm new and just had to join as it's like I was being described in some posts!
I have always cracked my knuckles, for as long as I can remember, (I'm 31) and clearly remember the first time (about 11 years ago now) that I had the urge to crack my ankle as it just felt uncomfortable, like there was pressure on it. I was standing, washing up, at the time so don't know if the length of time on your feet makes any difference?
Since, I've had the same uncomfortable, pressurised and sometimes achy, feeling on many joints and cracking them relieves the discomfort. Knees, shoulders, wrists, thigh joints, toes and more recently and bizarrely (thankfully temporary though) my ears, where I felt relief once I'd stretched the skin behind them to get a 'pop'! I have also, inadvertently, popped my neck and spine the odd time, so they were involuntary and not conscious actions, suggesting perhaps that one may be predisposed to poppy joints?
I visited a physiotherapist in my early 20's as I was experiencing crunchy sounding knee's and discomfort in them (many years before I started cracking them) and was told I was hypermobile and the pain was because my knee's went back too far whilst standing unless I made a conscious effort to stand with them straight. Just imagine that little bit of give on a Barbie doll when you bend her knee's the wrong way! (that's the nearest comparison I can think of!). So I don't know if hypermobility may be a common factor in those of us who need to or enjoy cracking?!
I also noticed a marked increase, and it was roughly the same time that my larger joints started cracking, following my pregnancies in 2005 & 2007. I'm also sure that I've read somewhere since, that the hormone created during pregnancy, Relaxin, has an accumulative effect, so maybe it doesn't ever leave the body fully, contributing to cracking in some way maybe? Something to think about anyway perhaps, for all those that have had a pregnancy.
I'm just trying to pin down a rational cause as to why joints would suddenly feel like they needed cracking, out of the blue!
Look forward to 'meeting' you all anyway!