The reason for this is escaping gases: Scientists explain that synovial fluid present in your joints acts as a lubricant. The fluid contains the gases oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide.
When you pop or crack a joint, you stretch the joint capsule. Gas is rapidly released, which forms bubbles.
In order to crack the same knuckle again, you have to wait until the gases return to the synovial fluid.
Movement of joints, tendons and ligaments: When a joint move, the tendon’s position changes and moves slightly out of place. You may hear a snapping sound as the tendon returns to its original position.
In addition, your ligaments may tighten as you move your joints. This commonly occurs in your knee or ankle, and can make a cracking sound.
Rough surfaces: Arthritic joints make sounds caused by the loss of smooth cartilage and the roughness of the joint surface.
Is it bad? Not terribly. But cracking a joint too often can hurt the cords, called ligaments, that surround the joint