Lower back is cracking every night - explanation needed please

Patient : Approximately 20 years ago when at school I had a chair pulled away from behind me and I fell onto concrete floor. I was temporarily unable to move my legs for about 10 minutes and was taken to hospital. They told me I had compacted a disc in my spine and would likely suffer problems later in life. I am now almost 30 and have experienced lower back pain and sciatica regularly. Two years ago I was in agony with my back and could feel what I can only describe as tiny pebbles in my back, along with sciatica. The doctor said it was fluid so gave me tablets to take saying I would need surgery if it didn't go. He couldn't explain where this liquid was coming from but I can feel it coming back. My question is to ask why my lower back has started to make a cracking sound, it only does it when I go to bed and if I turn without concentrating it feels like it gets stuck then crunches. What is it doing? I am getting really worried about it all and would be so grateful of an opinion or advice. Thank you very much, Emily.
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