Have you ever experienced immense pain or popping or cracking sounds in your shoulder? If yes, do not turn a blind to it. You may be suffering from shoulder crepitus.
Crepitus may sound a bit ominous. It is a medical term given to the crackles, snaps, and pops that your body may make from time to time. The harm is not serious when caused to other parts of your body. However, when the popping sound is made in your shoulder area, the condition may need immediate medical attention.
It is essential to mention that not every popping sound in your shoulder suggests that you have crepitus. Some of them do not lead to pain and are monetary, but if it is accompanied by swelling, lasting pain, and other issues, you may need to treat it at the earliest.
Let’s know about the anatomy of your shoulders and how every organ contributes to swift movements.
- Compare the range of motion of your shoulder and your hip. You will realize that the ball and socket joint of the shoulder allows for more mobility than the hips. But if the movement becomes stiff, you may need to visit a certified doctor to get yourself checked for the condition. As shoulder dislocations happen to be common injuries, it is obvious that your soft tissues may fail.
- One of these soft tissues is the labrum. It refers to a ring of cartilage extending the depth of the shoulder socket. However, being softer than the bone, it has more to give. It is good for extended mobility but doesn’t provide enough support during extreme movements or loads.
- Your ligaments help the labrum hold the joint together. They are naturally stretchy, offering a supportive sling holding the joint together and allowing precise movement.
What are the Causes of Shoulder Crepitus?
Shoulder crepitus may be caused because of the following factors:
When you move your shoulder, it may release pockets of gas that form within your joint. It produces a popping sound. However, this cause doesn’t lead to immense pain or discomfort and is normal.
Osteochondroma is a congenital bone spur or a common benign bone growth that may sometimes lead to a cracking or popping sound when you suddenly raise your arm. When you experience this condition, you may not have other symptoms except popping.
Soft sacs of fluid that aid cushion joints through their movements, bursa sacs are extremely vulnerable to inflammation. It may lead to popping with shoulder motion. This condition is usually accompanied by stabbing pain and joint warmth.
When your labrum tears because of injury or age, it may lead to grinding, popping, and instant pain when you use your shoulder. Do not ignore this popping. Visit your doctor immediately for consultation and treatment.
The cartilage preventing bone-on-bone contact may break down with time and use, leading to osteoarthritis. Grating, popping, and cracking sounds are the common signs you may be suffering from this condition.
Managing Shoulder Crepitus
The first act to do while experiencing the condition is to have a word with your doctor. A qualified surgeon will check your condition, diagnose the problem, and determine its severity. They will give you the treatment. Follow the medication and treatment regularly and take care of the following things.
- Do not strain your shoulder too much while still getting treated for the problem.
- You may opt for alternative therapies, such as physiotherapy, after having a word with your doctor. Follow some lifestyle changes to stay healthier.
- Do not engage in sports, gym, or other physical exercises that may tire your shoulder area.
When the pain aggravates, it becomes unbearable. Despite the cause of your condition, it is good to visit your doctor at the earliest for proper treatment.