When You Hear Your Shoulder Pop

Why Does Your Shoulder Pop?

You may well have heard your shoulder clicking from time to time. If not, you’ve almost certainly heard somebody else’s shoulder cracking. That shoulder pop is a common phenomenon, especially when a person reaches a certain age.

Shoulder pop and shoulder pain

You may be vague on exactly why it happens, though. To understand why, it helps to understand how your shoulder joint works.

The Basics of the Shoulder Joint and Shoulder Pop

Your shoulder joint is what’s called a ball-and-socket joint. The rounded end of the long bone in your upper arm fits into a hollow in the scapula (your shoulder blade), and cord-like tissues called ligaments bind the two together. This arrangement allows for a smooth and extensive range of movement. You can rotate your shoulder, shrug it up and down, etc.

Ligaments are strong, flexible, and stretchy, and when they’re in perfect condition, your shoulder can do all this moving quietly. When they’re not, though, when they’ve been injured, overused, or simply get older, they can loosen up. Then the shoulder joint moves more than is optimal, and you hear your shoulder pop.

The Shoulder Pop With or Without Pain

Some people think, “My shoulder pops now and again, but it doesn’t hurt, so it’s no big deal.” The problem, however, is that whether it hurts or not, the shoulder clicking indicates a condition called shoulder instability, meaning that the shoulder is moving in a way it shouldn’t. Left untreated, this problem can lead to shoulder labral tears and the onset of osteoarthritis, and then you will almost certainly have shoulder popping pain even if you didn’t have it before.

So you really do want to have a doctor check out your shoulder clicking, and you should do it with the knowledge that not every physician is keenly aware of the possible significance of that shoulder pop especially when it occurs in the absence of pain. You can help your doctor better evaluate the meaning of your shoulder cracking by determining the answers to the following questions in advance of your appointment.

  • How often does my shoulder pop?
  • When my shoulder pops, does it feel minor or insignificant? Or does it give me the feeling it’s damaging the joint?
  • Have I had this shoulder clicking in the past, but then it’s gone away?
  • Did I ever injure the shoulder, playing sports, for example, or in a car crash? This can be significant even if the injury was many years ago.
  • Have I ever dislocated the shoulder? Dislocation is when the ball joint of the shoulder comes out of the socket.
  • Have I ever had a shoulder separation? This means that one or more of the ligaments connecting the shoulder bone and collarbone tore.

Interventions for that Shoulder Pop and Shoulder Popping Pain

Traditionally physicians have addressed shoulder instability and the pain and lost mobility it can bring with invasive surgery. Any benefit such surgery produced came at the cost of a long, painful recovery and lengthy rehabilitation.

Fortunately, today state-of-the-art facilities like the Pain Relief Institute can offer an advanced non-invasive alternative in the form of stem cell recruitment therapy.

Stem cell recruitment therapy uses naturally occurring cells from the patient’s own body and stem cells administered via amniotic fluid injection to regenerate damaged tissue. It provides growth factors that promote repair and the regrowth of healthy tissue and is effective for a wide variety of ailments including muscle, tendon, ligament, and joint damage and pain. It’s safe and typically provides a quick and pain-free recovery.

As you would expect, not all stem cell clinics are created equal. Patients seeking this form of therapy should look for one with highly trained and experienced Board-certified doctors and personnel, ones using the most advanced procedures and adhering to the highest ethical standards and standards of care, and one offering the full range of post-therapy protocols to facilitate recovery.

Fortunately, you won’t have to look far to find such a facility. The Pain Relief Institute takes pride in not only meeting all these requirements, and if you’d like that shoulder pop evaluated or to receive therapy for shoulder pain, we invite you to contact us for an appointment.