As one of the hardest-working (and most overworked) joints in the human body, your shoulders handle a lot of weight and strain through the course of a normal day, especially if you’re physically active and participate in certain sports like tennis or basketball.
But you don’t have to be an athlete to hurt one or both shoulders. Everything from carrying heavy bags to repetitive movements at work or in your daily routine can lead to shoulder pain and injuries.
If you’re experiencing pain, stiffness, or a grating or popping sensation when you move your arm or try to rotate your shoulder, we can help. At Premier Spine Institute, our orthopedic surgeon Bonaventure Ngu, MD, and team offer diagnostic and treatment options for back, neck, and joint pain and injuries at three convenient locations in Woodlands, Humble, and Baytown, Texas.
Why is your shoulder making a popping sound?
When your joints are healthy and working like they’re supposed to, movements are smooth and seamless, and you enjoy full range of motion. In fact, most people perform most of their movements without really giving them much (if any) thought at all. However when something is wrong, whether it’s inflammation or friction due to cartilage loss, even the simple act of standing up from a chair, raising your arms to lift something, or putting a shirt on can be difficult and painful.
A popping noise and/or sensation in one or both shoulders can be a sign of several problems including:
- Bursitis (inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs that cushion and protect the joints from friction)
- Overuse injuries
- Labral tears
- Benign bone growths (osteochondroma)
Your shoulder can pop without any additional symptoms; but some people also experience pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion, which can be a sign of an additional underlying injury or condition.
If you’re experiencing popping or cracking in your shoulder with pain or other symptoms, schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Depending on the cause and severity of your symptoms, Dr. Ngu may prescribe medication, physical therapy, or additional treatment.
Ignoring your symptoms and delaying treatment can make the problem worse and put you at risk for permanent damage or make your injury more resistant to treatment in the future.
Common causes of shoulder pain and injury
Other common shoulder injuries and conditions include:
- Rotator cuff tears
- Pinched nerve
- Ruptured tendon
- Torn cartilage
- Separated shoulder
Even if you can’t pinpoint when or how you may have injured your shoulder, a timely diagnosis soon after you start experiencing symptoms that persist for more than a few days is important to avoid permanent joint damage.
Ignoring your symptoms could make your injury worse. For more information about the signs and symptoms of a shoulder injury, contact Premier Spine Institute today to request an appointment at one of our three offices in Woodlands, Humble, or Baytown, Texas.