T Nation

Shoulder Injury. Pop/Click/Crack when Rotating


I’m not new to bodybuilding at all. I know a great deal about shoulder health. However, this is beyond my best knowledge (and that of the doctor/all their fancy technology).

I have a pop/click in my left shoulder. It’s loud and can be heard when I tug my shoulder in towards my chest and do an internal rotation. It sometimes pops twice and clicks and cracks. The shoulder also feels loose, as if it is not attached to my body. It feels unstable when I do dumbbell presses, and if I go too heavy it wants to give out. My right side is my strong side and it feels like the arm is attached and my body wants to lift it. My right pec is thus bigger than my left, right shoulder and bicep bigger then my left. My left side just feels weak, in fact. But I can’t seem to get any muscle to build without some sort of pain in my elbow joint and shoulder.

I have had no muscle gains on my left shoulder since it was “injured” sometime in 2014 or 2015. I think I may have dislocated it or pulled a muscle, but I don’t know. I am not sure if anyone has experienced weird popping and clicking.

My issue is this: I’ve had an MRI, x-ray, and ultrasound all done in the last year and they have found no tears, not even tendonitis. So I am absolutely baffled as to what is going on.


Have you had an MRI where they injected dye into your shoulder capsule before the MRI? It shows small tears and other abnormalities.

I subluxed my right shoulder repeatedly when I was in high school (basically a dislocation but it didn’t stay out). I had stretched the ligaments in the posterior part of my shoulder capsule. It caused inflammation and weakness. I was attempting to be a college pitcher and went from throwing low 90s to 81 with everything I had. Doc ended up tightening those ligaments and it seemed to work.

I had no tears but the dye revealed that I had extra space in that area. I think it was from the head of the humerus slamming into those ligaments when it subluxed posteriorly.


Yeah. They shot dye into the shoulder - it showed an apparently healthy shoulder. That sounds similar to what I might be experiencing.

I am debating on going to a different orthopedic surgeon to try and find out what the real issue might be.


Second opinion never hurts. I waited a full year before having surgery because my doctor wanted to take it slow and try other things. I appreciate the fact that he wasn’t quick to cut on me but it ended up costing me two seasons.