Snap, crackle, pop is something you want to hear from your breakfast, not your shoulders. But the joints can be unstable, no less so than the shoulders, which are the most mobile in the body.
But how do you know if the snapping, popping, cracking and cracking of the shoulder felt during exercise and regular daily movement is a cause for concern or just a common body clamor?
If there is pain, your first stop is a medical professional. Even in the absence of pain, a conversation with your doctor is a good idea to avoid any potential issues down the road. Read on to learn more about common causes of snapping shoulder.
Why is my shoulder jumping?
Popping and cracking noises can come from your shoulder for a variety of reasons.
1. Gas pressure
Similar to your knuckles, some shoulders simply crack due to “cavitation” – or the act of releasing a gas-filled fluid that helps lubricate the joints. During the initial movement or repetition during exercise, the joint capsule is stretched, causing rapid release oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide.
“As we age — or even for those who are more active — the cartilage around our joints can erode,” says Dr. Scott Weiss, DPT, CSCS, ATC, owner and director of Bodhizone, New York. “Instead of a nice smooth cobbled street, it’s kind of like a street full of potholes. Because things are not smooth, the joints do not slip easily, which causes a lot of cracking and squeaking. It can also be a sign of developing arthritis.
Overuse and repetitive movements can also lead to bursitis or tendonitis. “As you move or rotate your shoulder, the swollen bursa or inflamed tendon can actually rub on the acromion, causing you to hear a click or little crackle in your shoulder,” explains Alan M. ReznikMD, MBA, FAAOS, Chief Medical Officer at Connecticut Orthopedic Specialists, Associate Professor of Orthopedics at Yale University School of Medicine, and volunteer for the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.
3. Body structure
Your physical makeup can directly influence body movement and therefore any resulting noise. For example, some people are naturally loose or double-jointed. “In certain positions for these body types — especially during weightlifting — the shoulder will slide partially out of the socket, such as on a bench press, and then back down bringing the arms down,” Reznik explains.
Or, as in Weiss’s “pothole” analogy, bones can also form speed bumps. Weiss explains that in these cases, snapping and snapping shoulders can occur as ligaments and tendons go over bumps on the bones. This can occur with regular movements, but can also be an indication of body misalignment or muscle weakness. “The stronger the muscles around the joint, the less this happens,” says Weiss.
Other anatomy-related shoulder pops and pops can be caused by poor posture, rounded shoulders (thanks to an abundance of forward-facing texting and computer use), and muscle imbalances.
4. Unnatural Movement
Unusual movement patterns can also lead to jumping and crunching shoulders. “Think of the difference between us and monkeys,” Reznik says. “Monkeys can hang on their arms all day because their shoulders are anatomically different from ours.
“When you start doing exercises where your hands are behind you, like the butterfly stroke in swimming or overhand throw in baseballthis unnatural movement often leads to more shoulder jumping, as well as pain and injury over time.
5. Tight muscles
Snapping and snapping shoulders can also be the result of friction caused by muscles rubbing against bones. An example cited by Weiss is a tight muscle wrapped around a bony prominence, which can have a bowstring effect that results in a snap. Muscle strengthening and stretching have been shown to prevent this painless but repetitive dissonance, according to a study Posted in Diary of muscles, ligaments and tendons.
Snapping or popping of the shoulder, whether abrupt or gradual, can be the result of a shoulder injury, such as a tear, dislocation, inflammation, or impingement.
When should I see a doctor for a snapped shoulder?
Popping and popping of the shoulder with a sore, swollen side means medical attention is a must. But even if you don’t have pain or swelling in your shoulder joint, a persistent click or pop is still a good reason to see your doctor. A diagnostic X-ray or MRI may be needed to determine the root cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan.
“Sounds that come from the body can mean so many different things,” says Weiss. “It’s important to listen to your body and, if something lasts a long time, have it checked. Catching it early can save a lot of waste and wear and tear on the body. Really, if you see – or hear – something, say something.