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  • Writer's pictureTricia Serres

Why is my shoulder clicking and popping?

Updated: Apr 13, 2022

I noticed that while decorating the house for the holidays that my shoulder makes clicking and popping noises when reaching overhead. It's not painful but sometimes my neck, upper back, and shoulder feels tight. Is the clicking normal or is something wrong?

Whenever a joint is clicking or making noise without major pain associated, there's likely nothing wrong or injured. Usually the popping and clicking is the result of the joint not moving smoothly or aligning correctly during movement. When lifting your arm overhead, your shoulder and shoulder blade need to coordinate together to appropriately raise your arm. The clicking may be the result of tension in your upper back or neck, or it could indicate muscle strength imbalances that cause your shoulder and shoulder blade to be uncoordinated in their movement together. Many times a combination of functional mobility, stretches, and postural strengthening can help the muscles and joints coordinate better together and reduce or eliminate the clicking sounds. Consider having a Physical Therapist evaluate your shoulder and make recommendations sooner rather than later to hopefully prevent longterm more serious pain or injury.

~Dr. Tricia Serres, DPT

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