From time to time, hearing a cracking or popping sound in your joints is perfectly normal. However, if you notice these sensations on a regular basis, it’s worth investigating the cause. If your shoulder keeps popping, no pain coming along with it may feel like a relief. But even without discomfort, shoulder popping could still indicate a condition that warrants your attention. Let’s explore some possible causes of this situation.
Shoulder Keeps Popping, No Pain: Possible Diagnoses
Being that the shoulder is a complex joint made up of many moving parts, shoulder injuries are unfortunately very common. If your shoulder begins to make a new or unusual noise and it’s accompanied by pain, swelling or other uncomfortable symptoms, you might understandably be alarmed. But, what might it mean if your shoulder keeps popping, no pain involved?
There are a number of possible reasons why your shoulder may pop, click or grind. Some common examples include:
- Loose ligaments – If you’ve sustained a shoulder injury in the past, it may have caused the ligaments to become stretched, but not necessarily to the point of tearing. This can result in shoulder instability, or the joint moving farther forward or backward than normal, leading to the popping sound you hear.
- Developing arthritis – With age and activity, the cartilage cushioning the bones in the shoulder joint can weaken, causing the bones to begin rubbing against one another. A classic sign of early shoulder arthritis, worn down cartilage may be the culprit behind one or both of your shoulders making a popping noise, even if it’s not specifically uncomfortable yet.
- Bursitis – In the shoulder joint, small, fluid-filled sacs called the bursae help to condition and lubricate the space between the tissues and bones, facilitating smooth motion. When these sacs become inflamed – known as bursitis – a popping sensation can develop.
If you notice that your shoulder is making a noise, your first instinct might be to ignore it and hope it goes away. But, because popping, clicking or cracking can be a sign that your shoulder is beginning to be affected by an injury or condition, it’s wise to see an orthopedic expert promptly to get insight into what is going on.
Trust Dr. Soffer for World-Class Shoulder Treatment with a Local Feel
If you’re concerned about new or worsening shoulder symptoms, look no further than Dr. Stephen Soffer for individualized, top-quality shoulder care in the Reading, PA area. Among his robust training and achievements, Dr. Soffer completed a sports medicine fellowship with esteemed orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews.
Offering both surgical and nonsurgical treatments for various shoulder issues, Dr. Soffer can help you expertly address your symptoms in an appropriate manner based on your age, lifestyle and other personal factors. To schedule an appointment with him, call our office at 610-375-4949.