Does your shoulder make cracking and popping sounds? If so, you might be wondering about why it does so. Our bodies make all kinds of clicking sounds. Some are normal, and some are not. In most cases, people don’t even know they have a problem until they suddenly experience pain or improper function of joints. The same is the case with our shoulder joints. Moving your shoulder can sometimes trigger a popping sensation near the joint, known as crepitus in medical terms. If you experience sharp pain in your shoulder coupled with a cracking sound, it can signify a health condition or an injury. Why does your shoulder keep popping? Let’s find out!

Reasons for a popping shoulder

Is there something wrong with the shoulder joint if it causes a popping noise when moved? You generally don’t need to worry if there’s no pain after a cracking sound. However, if the sound is accompanied by warmth or pain in the shoulder, go to your doctor for the diagnosis and treatment.
Following are some of the serious shoulder conditions that you need to look out for:


Your shoulder joint has cartilage that prevents bone-on-bone contact. This spongy cartilage acts like a safety cushion. As you age, this cartilage starts to break down and is unable to prevent bone-on-bone contact. When our bones rub together, it can result in pain and a popping sound. These popping and cracking sounds could be a sign of arthritis.

Labral tears

The labrum in your shoulder is a piece of the cartilage that cups the ball joint, where your upper arm and shoulder connect. Your shoulder muscles keep the labrum in place but can tear due to repetitive motion or an injury. So, if your shoulder pops and you feel severe pain, it can be due to a labral tear.


Soft sacs called bursa protect the joints and help them move in harmony. But when the bursa becomes inflamed, it causes stabbing pain or warmth, and you can hear a popping sound when you rotate or move your arms in any direction. This condition is known as snapping scapula syndrome.


A shoulder fracture can happen because of a fall, contact sports, or an accident – among many reasons. It can cause both pain and a cracking sound. Even if the injury is old, it can still cause a popping noise. If a fracture doesn’t heal correctly, it can cause a popping sound in your shoulder as a permanent side effect.

Conclusion: Why Does My Shoulder Pop?

While shoulder sounds aren’t always an issue, they can be one. Get it checked at your earliest if you are older, suffered a shoulder injury, or have overused your shoulder. At Genesis Pain Clinic, we’re proud to be practitioners of the highest standard of interventional pain management. We can diagnose and treat your condition, alleviating your concerns and getting you back to your everyday routine. We offer diagnostic testing and regenerative medicine to help our patients live healthy, pain-free lives. Please call us today at (913) 871-9888 for more information.

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