Shoulder Popping No Pain

Why turn to PT if you have shoulder popping but no pain?

Are you feeling concerned about your shoulder popping issue even though you aren’t experiencing any pain? Are you unsure if you should consult a doctor or physical therapist? Do you feel like maybe you should ignore it until you do start to feel pain in your shoulder? These are all important questions that a physical therapist can help you answer. 

Why is physical therapy helpful for those with shoulder popping but no pain?

You could consider seeing your primary care physician for this issue, but you will probably not receive any treatment if you aren’t experiencing pain. That’s where physical therapists come in. These musculoskeletal system experts recognize the need for a thorough evaluation of your symptoms even if you aren’t in any pain. They can also help you come up with a treatment plan made just for you, which may include therapeutic exercise and more.

What are some potential causes of popping in the shoulder but no pain?

  • Previous shoulder injury — If you have a history of shoulder injury, you could be at an elevated risk of having a shoulder that pops. This could be caused by scar tissue left behind from your previous injury. Eventually, such a lingering problem can trigger pain if left unaddressed. 
  • Injury to a tendon — If you’re hearing strange noises coming from your shoulder during movement, but no pain, you could have a tendon injury. Rotator cuff tendons can develop microscopic tears and could contribute to this condition.
  • Weak muscles — When your muscles are in a weakened state, your shoulders are more prone to injury. Weak muscles may also put more stress on other shoulder structures and trigger the popping you’re hearing.
  • Inflamed bursae — The bursae, or fluid-filled sacs, in your shoulder joints could be inflamed. As long as the inflammation is minor, you might only know this issue is there because of the odd sounds coming from your shoulder. 
  • Labrum tear — The labrum is located in the shoulder joint and when torn, it can reduce movement capabilities and potentially even cause popping noises. However, a minor tear may do so while causing little or no discomfort. 

Don’t wait until you have pain in your shoulder to see a physical therapist for shoulder popping. If you’re experiencing popping in your shoulder, it is best to reach out to the SOL Physical Therapy team for evaluation and treatment. We’re committed to helping you on your health and wellness journey.

Contact our team today for more information about shoulder issues or to schedule an initial appointment. 

About the author

Sports + Orthopedic Leaders Physical Therapy & Performance Training serves the communities of Oakland, Alameda, Berkeley, Walnut Creek, Orinda, San Francisco and beyond. SOLPT’s award winning team of Physical Therapists, Performance Coaches and movement experts has helped thousands reach their rehabilitation and performance goals to move beyond pain. We're committed to helping anyone of any fitness level move effectively and more powerfully for a lifetime. We offer rehabilitation and performance services to all populations, with specialties in Sports Rehabilitation, Active Release Techniques, and Manual Therapy Techniques plus Personal and Small Group Training, Sport Clinics and Wellness Services.