Let's see now, how many joints of my body can I crack? A whole lot, that's for sure. Well, there are my eight fingers and my two thumbs, that's ten, two extra low dull cracks per thumb and three additional snaps for each finger (two sideways and one downward), that's twenty-six more thus thirty-six total. Then come my two elbows, two knee caps, twice the metacarpals of my feet, two big toes and the other eight toes, that's sixteen more joints bringing the total to fifty-two cracks. My back at three places, fifty-five. And then there is my neck, three (sometimes four) wonderful release cracks like a machine gun going off. Sixty-one (sometimes sixty-three). There are also a number of micro-cracks sometimes available by twisting my pinkies and/or ring fingers a certain way. Okay, on average ten extra micro-cracks totaling to one good full crack making it sixty-four. Sometimes sixty-five that is. That's a good many cracks per cycle. Over a good day I can repeat this sixty-four crack cycle perhaps let's say eight times bring a grand total of five hundred twelve cracks. On occasion I can even crack the cartilage of my nose, does that count? Make that five hundred thirteen cracks total then. Hard to believe that there are some people out there who rarely have a single crack in a day nor in a week nor rarely ever. And then when a finger is accidentally bent too far back and cracks, these people scream in subdued pain and disgust as if cracking one's knuckles is a terrible thing to let happen.
So what is knuckle cracking anyway? According to the article Do people who crack their knuckles get arthritis? it says:
"The mechanism by which clicking noises can be produced by extreme pulling, twisting, flexion, or extension of joints is well established. When a joint is deformed in this way, the pressure in the joint space decreased, and a CO2 filled cavity forms in the synovial fluid. The pressure in the cavity is lower than that in the surrounding fluid, so the fluid quickly rushes into the cavity. This sudden implosion of the cavity is thought to be what causes the distasteful cracking sound. Interestingly, tiny bubbles of CO2 remain in the synovial fluid, taking about 15 minutes to be reabsorbed. This explains why a knuckle cannot be recracked immediately."
Each crack feels really really good, as if I am addicted to some cracking drug, but the pleasures last no more than a second or two, including the after effects. Crack, yes, all gone, for a time at least. For each joint that cracks one has to wait around ten minutes before the next time it can be cracked, but the longer you wait the better the crack. The first crack is always by far the best, with each following crack less fulfilling depending on how long you wait in-between cracks. Stop that, stop cracking your knuckles! Sorry, I cannot help it. I am tensed up inside, I am restless, I am insecure and so it is necessary to crack every single possible metacarpophalangeal and interphalangeal joint in my body that is even remotely possible to crack. When I was around ten or so I learned for the first time that I could crack my fingers. What a major discovery that was. Almost as good as the day I first learned to burp on command. Slowly this cracking urge spread to the other parts of my body. Something one is born with and in adolescence comes into fulfillment, you might say. When I wake up, especially from a long deep motionless slumber, my stiffness thaws and then explodes with all kinds of random cracks whichever way I move, twist or turn. Like an ice-breaker crackling through the frozen sea of the morning. Crack, crack, snap and pop.