Snap crackle and pop - these sounds can either make you cringe or induce a sense of relief. This World Arthritis Day here's all that you need to know about cracking knuckles. The biggest concern about cracking knuckles is that it could lead to arthritis specifically osteoarthritis. And if one is already a patient of osteoarthritis the cartilage within joints is progressively being damaged and the synovial fluid is typically reduced as well. The pain and joint stiffness that is felt is a result of bones starting to come in contact with each other as cartilage and synovial fluid diminishes.