The joints internal surface should be smooth and no cracking should happen. When the internal surface becomes rough; which can be the result of overuse or inflammation (rheumatism) of the joint; any movement can create a noise. This noise is the cracking you have mentioned.
In rare instances, the tendons and ligaments can click when the joint moves and this creates another kind of noise.
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It is recommended that all individuals see a Family Doctor for a full medical examination annually. Adults should get their blood pressure checked (US Preventive Task Force), a flu vaccine (CDC) and more each year.