Do you hear a popping sensation in the shoulder while moving it? The popping, grinding, or cracking sound is known as the crepitus. Crepitus may be due to some previous health conditions or injury.
As you know, the ball and socket joint supports the shoulder and holds it in place. It provides the largest mobility to your arms with a full range of motions.
In this article, we will dig deeper into the main causes of popping shoulders along with some treatment methods to treat the issue with ease.
You will also learn some prevention methods and look at the situations which need urgent medical attention.
Is it Something Serious?
Hearing a cracking or grinding sound in the shoulder is common, which can happen to an individual within any age group.
It can happen when you wake up or during harmless exercises. According to research, it can result from gas release from the fluid spaces within the joints.
But, if it accompanies unbearable pain and other symptoms, it might be a sign of something serious.
The doctors refer to this as crepitus and may recommend weight management, some injections, and anti-inflammatory drugs.
Thus, the situation is not permanent and can go away with home-based treatments, the use of drugs, or minor surgical procedures.
The Common Reasons For Popping Shoulder
- Shoulder Arthritis
All the joints in the body, including those in the shoulder, can be due to arthritis.
There are several forms of shoulder arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and injury-related shoulder arthritis.
In general, shoulder arthritis causes discomfort, cracking, popping, clicking, grinding, or stiffness. This is a long-term issue, and you should consider it.
- Abnormal Shoulder Muscles
A person’s shoulder can dislocate without causing pain due to weak or atypical muscles in the shoulder area.
If a muscle problem causes dislocation, physiotherapy may help strengthen the muscles. But, if the pain is intense, it may need surgery to lessen the size of the joint.
If a person extends their shoulder during everyday physical activity, it can dislocate. This can happen if a person’s joints are exceptionally flexible and overextend themselves.
The shoulder becomes dislocated inside the socket when this type of overextension happens. One can treat overextension with physiotherapy and physical training.
Some accidental injuries can cause the shoulder bones to pop out. It leads to the dislocation and tearing of the ball and socket joint.
To diagnose the problem, x-rays and physical examinations are common. Doctors recommend stabilization surgery to repair the dislocated ball and socket joint and fix the tear.
- Bone Tumors
Bone tumors are non-cancerous and develop in growing bones. The bone tumors in the shoulder may give a painless bump near the joint.
It accompanies too much pain, tingling, and numbness during physical activities. Doctors recommend CT scans, MRIs, and other imaging tests to begin treatment.
Treatment Options for Recurring Shoulder Popping and Pain
- Correction of Posture
While working at the computer or driving, you should strive to keep a healthy posture throughout the day by sitting straight.
You will notice a difference if you adopt these healthy posture-improving habits. By giving your muscles strength, it relieves all types of chronic pain.
Yoga is the best remedy that can help in altering any physical issue. It can also prove effective in minimizing shoulder pain due to the popping sound.
But, you should be consistent enough at practicing yoga. Though it takes time, it reaps full benefits and has the potential to heal you.
- Cold Compress
The pain eventually reduces to zero and vanishes if you reduce the inflammation. This can decrease swelling and numbness around the region and heal faster.
According to research, it is the most effective treatment method for all kinds of pain and therapies with zero side effects.
- Foam Roller Therapy
Foam rollers are the most inexpensive way of providing therapy to people who need manual therapy.
It is so handy that you can buy it and use it yourself. These rollers are beneficial for stimulating the soft tissues in your shoulder, reducing inflammation and soreness from your body.
- Anti-Inflammatory Drugs for Pain
When the pain is hard to control and bear, you can use anti-inflammatory drugs by consulting any doctor once.
It can help you provide instant relief, and you can meanwhile find out the best doctor in your region whom you are looking for.
It is nearly impossible to avoid shoulder cracking or popping sound in many circumstances because it comes from within. But, some procedures can limit the occurrence of the sound and extra injury.
To cut extra injury, avoid overusing the shoulder joint if there is pain or swelling. It is also important to avoid those activities that require a lot of shoulder movement, like sports.
One can reduce shoulder injuries by rest, massage, anti-inflammatory medicines, and heat.
When to See a Doctor?
When you are in intense pain, especially after an injury, it is critical to see a medical specialist to aid the situation.
Successful rehabilitation is a time-sensitive matter, and getting professional support early on can improve your well-being. At the same time, sticking to a treatment plan can have some long-term benefits.
Physiotherapists suggest effective exercises that patients can practice at home or work. Also, they can take as little as 10-20 minutes a day.
Thus, consult a doctor if shoulder cracking or popping causes pain, edema, or other symptoms that are becoming intense.
The sound like cracking, popping, or clicking in the shoulder is not a cause for concern. If the sound accompanies discomfort, pain, swelling, or other related symptoms, you must consult a doctor.
Recovery from a shoulder injury can be through physical therapy and home-based treatments. Surgery and other therapies are possible if these procedures do not give any relief and the problem becomes intense.
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