Shoulder Cracking Relief

Dr. Beau Pierce

Have you ever experienced Popping or Cracking in your shoulder? Here is some insight as to why and how to get relief!

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What's up guys, Dr. Beau here and today we are talking about that pesky shoulder pain. You know, the shoulder pain that hurts, clicks, pops, especially when you lift weights. Stay tuned. So here is the question of the day. Sarah asked me, hey, Dr. Beau, when I am in the gym and any time that I am doing an overhead movement, such as shoulder press or lifting my hands overhead, I feel clicking, popping, and grinding inside my shoulder. What's going on? All right, Sarah.

So let's talk a little bit about the shoulder. So give you a better understanding of how you can address it yourself. Your shoulder is actually independent from the rest of your body. Meaning this. Meaning that your shoulder is not connected bone to bone, like many other joints of your body is. Matter of fact, the only way that your shoulder is connected is via different muscles that connect to the shoulder joint.

Matter of fact, this is the reason why this joint, your shoulder joint is the most freely moveable joint in the body. Now here's what that means, especially for athletes and for people like yourself who are in the gym lifting weights. It means this, that if your shoulder is independent, meaning if you put the shoulder in the middle and you have it swing up and down much like a pendulum, that the muscles that attach to each side of it influence the shoulder pendulum.

Meaning if the muscles on the front side of the shoulder, primarily your anterior deltoid, your pectoralis major, your pectoralis minor, and your subclavius muscle. those are kind of the big muscles in the front side of the body. If they become overworked or shortened and tightened, that's going to cause the shoulder to actually rotate forward. Matter of fact, if you stand and you look at your posture. So stand up right now and let your hands just go free down to your sides.

Your middle finger should actually run right along your pant line. For most people, especially if you have a desk job or you're seated for a long time during the day, or you're playing on your phone for a lot of hours, those cause your shoulders to round forward and you'll notice that your hands actually turn in. So what ends up happening is is that your shoulder, like I said, which is freely independent, starts being pulled forward and your shoulders round forward.

Now your shoulder is a ball and socket joint, meaning that there's like a socket and the head of the humerus sits there and it's supposed to move back and forth. But if the muscles on one side, primarily on the front side become tight, that shoulder gets pulled forward and it starts to click and it starts to pop. So what we typically see is this, that the muscles in the front portion of the shoulder, primarily anterior deltoid and pectoralis become very, very overworked, very, very shortened and tightened.

Then the muscles in the backside of the shoulder, your rear deltoid, your lap and your rhomboids become tense and tight. Matter of fact, they're almost kind of holding on for dear life. What we tend to see is that the shoulder starts to click and pop. So what are the answers for it? Well, the very first thing is this, that anytime that you go in to the gym, you'll want to start by stretching out the front of the chest.

So getting in a doorway, opening up the chest, working the ability for your chest to stretch and open up. Second thing is this, is if anything time that you're doing any sort of chest movement, chest press, inclined, flies, what have you, mix in at least one set of posterior shoulder work. So you're looking for exercises like angel wings or reverse delts or what we call Y's or T's or W's. These are little exercises that'll help to create balance in the posterior, the rotator cuff muscles to actually balance out the shoulder.

What is very typical is that people really work really, really hard at developing shoulder strength, overhead presses, front raises, lateral raises, chest press, incline press and they tend to forget about all of the muscles on the backside of their body. Their lats, the traps, the poster deltoids, the rhomboids, et cetera. That leads to a huge imbalance. Because not only are they working hard in the gym, they're working at home or on their computer or on their smartphone and that leads to the shoulders starting to round.

That leads to the clicking, grinding and popping Sarah, which you are asking. So if this is you, please start to do these things immediately. Now, as a chiropractor, we come into play because not only can we assess these things, but we can actually adjust the shoulder back into the right position. Neurologically reset the shoulder, physically move the shoulder back into the right position and work with you to give you the best stretches and exercises so you don't continue to suffer with this.

Because here's the longterm thing, Sarah. It starts out as clicking and popping, next thing you know, you start developing arthritis in there, some grinding, and then a few years down the line, then we're talking about rotator cuff surgery. We're talking about the subscap lesions. We're talking about all of these things that will deteriorate and actually hurt the shoulder.

But for right now, start doing the stretches, start doing the exercises. I think that you will start to notice a major difference in your movements of your shoulder. All right, guys, if you have a question about your shoulder, shoulder pain, upper extremity, whatever you got, we're here for you. We're sports chiropractors. That's what I do all day long here in my practice at Pierce Chiropractic. Have a great one, guys. I'll talk to you later. Bye.

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