Why does my shoulder make clicking sounds while doing exercise?

Q. Getting clicking sound in my shoulder while doing exercise. What could be the problem?

Answered by
Dr. Shinas Hussain A. P
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Mar 09, 2017 and last reviewed on: Jun 15, 2023

Hi doctor,

I am a 20 year old male of 6 feet 2 inches in height and 215 pounds weight. I am getting some clicking sound around my shoulder blade area, and sometimes, it moves to the trapezius muscle. I am also experiencing aches in my left chest (my doctor said that my heart is fine ), pain in the upper portion of my biceps and wrist pain on the same arm. I am also experiencing discomfort in the neck. All my pain is on the left side of my body. When I workout my rear deltoid clicking goes away for a few hours and comes back. The rotator cuff is in good condition. I am unable to shoulder press any challenging weight. While doing exercise, I got a shoulder injury. What is the problem? I gained 35 pounds of muscle and fat after injury, and I am still hurt.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

I have gone through your query and can understand your concerns.

  1. The symptoms you have mentioned suggest the possibility of a musculoskeletal disorder called snapping scapula syndrome, but we have to rule out other condition before commencing the treatment.
  2. It is quite common in young males with the history of overuse of his shoulder structures. Repetitive overhead throwing can cause this rare condition. Improper techniques during gym training also cause this.
  3. I suggest you consult an orthopedician or a sports surgeon and get a detailed clinical evaluation and investigations done. The doctor will do some special tests to make a diagnosis of snapping scapula syndrome.
  4. You might also need an MRI to rule out other condition causing similar symptoms as bursitis, rotator cuff injury, etc.,
  5. As a first line management, the doctor may advise some physiotherapy and analgesics for pain. Most cases respond well to conservative management with physiotherapy and analgesics. If the pain is severe, then you might require Cortisone injection to the affected area.
  6. If conservative measures fail, then you might need surgical intervention. Nowadays, arthroscopic techniques are preferred.

The Probable causes:

Overuse of shoulder.

Investigations to be done:

MRI scan.

Differential diagnosis:

1. Bursitis.

2. Radial nerve injury.

Probable diagnosis:

Snapping scapula syndrome.

Treatment plan:

Conservative with physiotherapy and analgesics. If not respond well, then steroid injection and surgery.

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