Hey all, I've been experiencing a clicking in my left shoulder while swimming. There's no pain, it just doesn't sound good. Any ideas on what it is and the best way to approach rehabiliting it? Simple rotator cuff exercises maybe? Thanks! - Tony
My does the same and I asked my doctor about it last time I went to see him. I did a lot of weight lifting in high school and college and built up the muscles and tendons in my shoulders so I was concerned I did more harm than good. My doctor told me not to worry because that sound/painless clicking is a tendon (or a muscle?) getting caught on the bone and then releasing. My shoulders both do it everytime I rotate them in a full circle. Strength training is always a plus and will help your swimming if you slowly introduce light exercises a couple times a week. Hope this helps
Thanks Tobis. I went and saw a doctor about it and he explained it the same way you did. It's a actually a part of the bicep muscle that connects to the shoulder that's getting caught and causing the clicking sound. I have an MRI scheduled for next week to see what exactly is going on.
I have had rotator cuff problems since high school swim team. I am suppose to be doing "rubber band" physical therapy to rehabilitate, but never can seem to stick with it. For me it is really a big problem beacause when I swim and it acts up I literally can not rotate my arm around for a stroke. So I have to get in the pool and just do kicks until I can get my arm working right. In one of the swim mags. I did find these velcro bands you wrap around the top of your arm that help with the arm popping out of joint, they actually work and I wore them a bunch during competitions. They look stupid but they work. I have found that for me this rotator cuff stuff is an ongoing thing I had the MRI, shots, bla bla bla...everything but the surgery that I wish I could have. So good luck, I know what you are going through. It really can put a cramp on fun swims!
I have had rotator cuff problems for a while now. -- Much competitive swimming in my past. Last year it was so painful I couldn't find a comfortable way to sleep so doc offered me 6 wks of PT but thought I would be back for surgery in no time. IT WORKED. The bands work for me. I have a 1 1/2" bone spur on my left shoulder joint that impinges on the RC. The band work stopped the pain and I am back swimming 1-2 miles 4 x a week. Still careful on the mileage and at times I get a flare up but back to the bands and I'm good. As long as I can swim and stay away from the knife for another 10 years
*Replyimg to all responses. The cause is more than likely your mechanics rather than an issue which you were born with. Poor mechanics create the issues. What I see, as a personal coach, is that doctors will tell the patient to do the PT and not swim for 6 wks or whatever. They do not address the causation. The issue of the cause will repeat itself until the swimmer succumbs to ceasation or totally blows out the shoulder(s). *
Technique is so vital, especially to adult beginner learners. as welll as accomplished ones. Anyone, and I mean ANYONE can slog through the water and muscle it up for the swim. By the time you get out to get on your bike, well.....the legs are dead from kicking hard to hold your body up on top of the water. Believe me, you don't have to live that way for a tri event. Save your legs! Learn balance and learn how to control your body in the swim as well as take control. Wow. That's a positive.
Small and straight to the point websitel.
I am a physical therapist. I can understand that clicking might be unsettling. But, if there is no pain it's really nothing to be concerned about. As a swimmer doing rotator cuff exercises is always a good idea. It will help reduce the chances of a painful shoulder condition but not necessarily stop the clicking.
If you want to see some pictures of rotator cuff program, visit:
There is a lot of truth to what everyone here is saying. One thing that I might add for a solution to your problem would be to look into Active Release Technique or A.R.T. as a treatment solution since many cases of popping/clicking and pain in and around joints has to do with altered bio-mechanics due to cummulative injury disorder or CID. This means that, over time, tissues can become scarred and adhesed over time leading to shortening or weakening of those structures and causing decreased performance and compensation of all the areas involved. This technique is utilized by many types of practitioners including MD's PT's and DC's to name a few and is very popular with all types of athletics including many professional sports. Don't take my word for it though, you can see for yourself at http://www.activerealease.com - hope that helps.
I agree with with ART Therapy.
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The rotator cuff muscles are important in shoulder movements and in maintaining glenohumeral joint (shoulder joint) stability. These muscles arise from the scapula and connect to the head of the humerus, forming a cuff at the shoulder joint. They hold the head of the humerus in the small and shallow glenoid fossa of the scapula. The glenohumeral joint has been analogously described as a golf ball sitting on a golf tee.