Is Shoulder Clicking Dangerous? Can Sports Physical Therapy Help Fix It?

Do you ever experience rice crispys in your shoulder (snap, crackle, pop) when lifting your arm overhead or exercising? Ever wonder if this is something to be concerned about or if sports physical therapy can help to fix it?

There are many reasons that this may occur. The shoulder is a complex joint with the largest range of motion in the body. It is comprised of bone, ligaments, cartilage, and tendons that allow for ease of movement in many different directions.

Because the shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body, it has many ways that it can compensate, and become unstable when compensations are repeated over time.This is one reason (among many) why the shoulder often becomes injured.

However, before you assume the worst, ask yourself the following:

1) Is the popping I feel painful?
2) Have I experienced a recent shoulder injury?
3) Does my shoulder feel stable during activity?
4) Is it accompanied by any weakness?

Clicking and popping can occur for many reasons. If it is painless, it may be harmless joint noises known as crepitus, which is simply pressure being releasing from the joint.

On the other hand, clicking and popping may occur simultaneously with pain. If that is the case or you answered yes to any of questions 2-4 above, it is time for your shoulder to be assessed by a healthcare provider, such as a physical therapist or physician.

The most important thing to learn from your healthcare provider is the root cause of your symptoms. This information enables you to correct them once and for all!

If you are experiencing annoying clicking/popping in your shoulder, and you are ready to determine its root cause, contact us today!