What sound does a bag of popcorn in the microwave make?
Pop, Pop, Pop!
But what if you’ve recently noticed this noise coming from your upper arm region?
To be more specific…
What if it is your shoulder that grinds, pops or cracks when you rotate your arm or
Bring your arm out in front of you or out to your side?
But here is the strange thing …
Chances are it doesn’t even hurt or pain when you move your arm – just sounds weird.
Am I right?
So you may be wondering …
What causes this and how do you get rid of it?
Before I tell you exactly what is happening here, it is important that you understand the following.
Muscles do not normally grind, pop or crack.
Which brings me to the first reason as to why this is happening.
1) Your muscles that have suffered an injury such as a tear, strain or a severe impact can cause a chain reaction along connecting muscles to constrict and contract.
Not sure you have a torn rotator cuff?
Read this post to learn the top 7 signs of a torn rotator cuff.
So what does this mean?
This means that there will be more pressure applied to your shoulder joint, causing it to not move as freely, glide smoothly and rotate as it once did.
Your shoulder joint is the most flexible joint in your entire body.
It is the joint where your humerus(upper arm bone) and scapula come together.
The first part of your shoulder joint is your shoulder blade.
It is often referred to as your scapula, and is a flat, wide bone.
The second part of your joint is your upper arm bone.
The top part, the humeral head, fits into the socket of your shoulder blade.
You should be able to rotate your arm fully without any noises, popping or grinding sounds.
And of course … without any pain.
2) The second reason for these strange sounds in your shoulder is actually a pretty simple one.
Did you know that nitrogen gas can build up in your joints over time.
And when this gas needs to get “released” you hear some pretty strange sounds.
For example, you can most likely crack your knuckles.
Well the sound your knuckles make when you crack them is the sound of nitrogen gas being released.
It’s that simple.
Check out this article on painful, clicking shoulders – it’s a good read.
Now for the third and final reason…
3) It is possible that you are suffering from arthritis of the shoulder.
These sounds can be a sign and symptom of shoulder arthritis.
The top of your humerus bone where to it comes together with your scapula to form your shoulder joint, is covered with a smooth, white finish known as the cartilage.
This allows your bones to move freely and glide without pain or any sort of restrictions.
Overtime, this cartilage can breakdown and wear away, especially if you are constantly performing repetitive throwing or rotating actions of your arm.
The grinding and cracking noises can be attributed to the worn away portion of your cartilage, and now you have bone on bone.
The result is pain and suffering in your shoulder.
But here’s the thing…
If you already have one kind of shoulder injury, for example a rotator cuff injury, you can expect to be at a higher risk of getting other shoulder injuries such as frozen shoulder or arthritis.
For the majority of individuals reading this article, I am willing to bet that 99 percent of you are suffering from a rotator cuff injury.
It is the most commonly diagnosed shoulder condition around the world and
The numbers are simply growing each and every year.
So where do you go from here?
The very first thing I would do is address your daily routine and behaviors.
Identify movements that involve repetitive arm and shoulder movements.
Make note of what makes your pain worse.
It could be something as simple as cleaning appliances or fixtures which are overhead and require constant reaching.
If it is your profession or job that is causing this pain and discomfort, then you really need to talk with your manager and figure out another solution because…
If you continue doing what you are doing, your shoulder condition will only get worse.
What about exercising in the gym or fitness center?
If you are trying to overcome your shoulder injury, I strongly advise against performing overhead shoulder presses with heavy dumbbells.
If you are a gym rat, like I was many years ago, this is usually how many guys in the gym tear one of their rotator cuff muscles.
I know first hand – that’s how I suffered a tear to my supraspinatus muscle.
The danger of using heavy dumbbells overhead is that they can get away from you really fast.
Just when you are starting to fatigue and think you can squeeze out one more repetition, you arm collapses and your rotator cuff muscles get all stretched and extended beyond their normal range of motion.
So what should you do if you want to still work your shoulders at the gym?
Stick to the smith machine or use the hammer strength shoulder press machine.
Machines are great because they limit your range of motion.
They are built so that you can only move them in one direction.
As a result of this engineering, it decreases your chance of injury.
Hence the reason why you see so many older people in the gym using machines instead of dumbbells and/or heavy weights.
Now for some good news!
Treating and healing a rotator cuff injury can be quickly and safely done using just 4 basic steps.
And what’s even better…
Is that everything that you need can already be found in your home!
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