I workout at the gym three times a week, doing Zumba, weight training, the treadmill, and yoga. I have preosteoarthritis and bad hypermobility in both shoulders. They click all the time, and it’s hard for me to focus in school, during exams, while I’m doing anything. I used to be really good at focusing in class, but now the clicking makes it really hard to stay concentrated for long periods of time. The clicking can lead to an inflamed feeling in the muscles rubbing against each other, I think, and the sound it makes and the sensation of the clicking is driving me crazy. I broke a clavicle five years ago, and that’s when the clicking started in one shoulder, and then spread to the other shoulder for some reason. I did physical therapy last year for three months, but it didn’t do anything. Is there anything I can do to make my shoulders stop clicking?


Thank you for your question! Without doing an examination of your shoulders, we are limited in our ability to provide specific information regarding your symptoms.

Clicking and popping around the shoulders is not always indicative of something bad going on in the area, as the body is designed to move and adapt itself as we move throughout the day. These symptoms could be caused by muscles and tendons moving over each other or by moving over other structures in the shoulder area. They could also be related to the joints in that area themselves. Changes in the sounds that the shoulder makes can also be due to changes in posture, activity, or body structure as our bodies develop.

Physical Therapy treatments for popping and clicking in the shoulder often involve working on mobility in the shoulder blade and spine, postural alignment and endurance, stability and control of the shoulder joint and the shoulder girdle, as well as the overall strength of the upper extremities. All those areas of focus work together to make sure the shoulders are well supported and moving optimally.

We suggest going to see an Orthopedic Doctor or Physical Therapist that specializes in shoulders near you for an evaluation to identify what is causing the popping and clicking and how to go about improving it. To find a PT that is a Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist near you can utilize this search engine.

**This reply is for informational purposes only. It’s not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician, physical therapist, or other qualified health provider with a medical condition.