I have been cracking my neck for over half of my life (10-12 years). I've always known that it was a bad habit, but found it hard to stop doing. It is as addictive as cracking your knuckles. So I have always had neck and back problems and have just been "dealing" with them.
I have been going to a chiropractor for a few months now. I was in for much longer than usual because of how jacked up I was. And FINALLY I was explained why and how cracking your neck is so bad.
There are seven vertebrate in your neck, when you crank you neck right and left using your chin as leverage, you only crack the same vertebrate. It's usually the 4th or 5th one that you're cracking over and over and over. So there is relief in cracking your neck, because the same bones get used to being cracked. Leaving the rest of your neck left unsatisfied.
I thought that because chiropractors cracked my neck, I was doing the same thing. I was explained of what cracking bones is. It's pressure being released from the joints. But chiropractors know what bones they are cracking, therefore it is much more helpful. This is very informational, obviously I don't know all the facts. I'm sure you can find more elsewhere.
So I haven't cracked my neck as often since. Some days I don't at all, but writing this right now makes me want to. I feel the pressure building in my neck, but I can't get the image of the SAME bone being cracked over and over, while the other 5 or 6 bones are left untouched. I really hope this will stick and I can stop cracking my neck. I hear old habits die hard, so I guess I'll have to watch some Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman.