Shoulder crack

Shoulder cracking: causes and treatment

Cracking noises in the shoulder are Affected, often worrying, in many cases, however, harmless. The shoulder cracking usually occurs in the case of certain movements, and the causes can be varied or are not to the part yet. Depending on exactly where the noise occurs, and also wear and tear and other diseases as a trigger in question. The Crack in the shoulder can be accompanied by pain and movement restrictions.

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As the shoulder POPs are known to crack at the end, snapping, grinding, jumping, or raucous sounds, which in the area of the shoulder during certain movements, such as shoulder or Armkreisen, shoulder lift, or in the case of upside-down movements occur. These sounds occur in many people and are generally not a concern unless associated with pain or Motor weakness in the Arm.

Painful shoulder, temporarily or permanently, and in the process of grinding noises and the pain and/or limitation of movement accompanied be can crack to occur. Affected often with everyday activities such as dressing or Washing of the back problems, so that the complaints will have a significant restriction and reduction in quality of life, and extremely unpleasant.

Anatomy of the shoulder joint

The shoulder is made up of different structures: The clavicles and the shoulder blades together, represent the shoulder girdle, the shoulder joint itself is formed from the shoulder blade and the upper arm bone. The so-called shoulder roof (acromion), as well as of the coracoid process (Coracoid) as a bone projections of the shoulder blade.

Unlike many other joints, the shoulder joint is not a variety of bands, but rather specific muscles with their Tendons for stability, which are collectively referred to as Rotattorenmanschette. For this purpose, the Musculus supraspinatus (upper bones, muscle), Musculus infraspinatus (bones, muscle), the Musculus teres minor (small round muscle of the arm) and the Musculus subscapularis (under the shoulder blade muscle). The rotator cuff covers the shoulder joint-like roof.

The muscles run from the shoulder blade to the upper arm bone, where your Tendons attach. In Relation to the strong forces and stresses that act in the case of motion in the shoulder joint and its surrounding structures, is formed of the ligaments are relatively weak. For the stability of the muscles of the rotator cuff are therefore primarily responsible. The shoulder joint is the most mobile ball and socket joint in the human body.

The location and type of noise to give the first indications

Popping sounds occur in the area of the shoulder, can relate to the cause of the Tendons, the muscles, the articular cartilage or the bony structures. Shoulder can crack at the height of the shoulder blade, deep in the joint, on the side, front or rear occur. Often it is the sound of the tendon snapping, if it occurs on the side or on the back of the shoulder. Then either the external rotators or the supraspinatus tendon, which runs laterally on the upper arm, the trigger for the noise. Likewise, the biceps tendon can be affected, if the shoulder crack on the side or the front appearance. Noise, which make the shoulder circles of the shoulder blade, they can be due to hardening of the muscles under the shoulder blade if the shoulder blade is moved over the muscles.

When should be treated to a Cracking in the shoulder?

Pop or snap noise in the area of the shoulder are relatively common and are no cause for concern. Other complaints, such as pain and movement restrictions are added, however, there may be a disease or a wear-related damage to the shoulder. Thus, POPs can be in the area of the shoulder is also a reference to the so-called rotator cuff syndrome (PHS, Periarthropathia humeroscapularis), the different clinical pictures are summarized. This is due to wear damage, cracks, for example, with small (Ruptures) in the tendon fibers begin and to complete torn Tendon. Especially the rotator cuff, the tendon plate of the shoulder-blade screwdriver, as well as the biceps affected are the tendon from wear and tear. Therefore, one speaks of the rotator cuff syndrome and biceps tendon syndrome. Those affected suffer from pain and restriction of movement. It is inflammation of the Tendons and/or bursae. Lime deposits or adhesions in the joint can lead to the stiffening of the shoulder.

Shoulder crack when Fitness Training

The crunch and Crack of the shoulder occurs more in Exercises in the gym such as bench press, this can be an Irritation of the Tendons that spread to the upper arm. First of all, it should be ensured, under the trained guidance that the Exercise is ergonomically executed. Also, a temporary reduction in the training weights, the Tendons. In addition, if pain occur, should be consulted the family doctor. In General, this will first try the Problem using inflammation to create-inflammatory drugs, physiotherapy or massages from the world. To keep the complaints continue, is usually a Referral to the orthopedist.


In the case of shoulder cracking is accompanied by pain and/or limitation of movement, a doctor should be consulted. The listed causes are only a selection of possible triggers for Popping and snap noise in the area of the shoulder. In addition, there are numerous other causes that can only be in the context of a medical examination or be excluded found. The doctor’s first questions to the medical history, in order to obtain, where appropriate, in the case of pre-existing conditions such as rheumatism already a note on the cause of the complaints. In addition, an in-depth study of the musculoskeletal system and the shoulder. The exact localization of the complaints plays an important role.

Further Diagnostic Methods

In the rule, are created for further analysis, first x-ray images of the shoulder. Thus, changes in the shoulder blade can be made visible or be excluded. Depending on the findings can then be a computed tomography (CT) and/or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). With the CT changes in the bone such as spurs, curves, poorly healed fractures or bone tumors can reveal. By the MRI parts soft to better. So, for example, bursitis changes, or soft tissue tumors can be diagnosed. In addition, nerve damage as a cause of painful shoulder crack into consideration. This can be detected by the measurement of nerve conduction velocity and the muscle activity (electro-physiological diagnostics).

Treatment options for shoulder crack

No side effects, such as pain or restrictions in movement occur, it is often appropriate motion, such as, for example, stretching exercises useful. The therapy of painful shoulder cracking depends on the underlying cause. Generally, it is preferred to the non-operative treatment.

Treatment for inflammation

In the case of inflammation of the Tendons or bursae is usually arranged a temporary protection of the shoulder. Add to that the administration of anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs, as well as a special physical therapy (“shoulder school learning”) in the case of the Affected, how to avoid unfavorable, recurring movements and postures, or better Alternatives practice. Depending on the cause of the complaints, among other things, shock wave therapy, electrotherapy and acupuncture can be helpful. A visit to the osteopath can also be useful, as this evaluated is the shoulder ailments in a holistic context.

Treatment of bony and mechanical causes

A bony or mechanical cause such as a bone spur or a Tumor is, in most cases, surgery is necessary. As a relatively gentle procedure arthroscopy of the scapula in Shoulder arthroscopy, for example, spurs, calcium deposits, bursitis and disturbing scars strands removal is going to be considered here. (ag, vb; updated on 28. January 2019)