What is Snapping Scapula Syndrome?

Sometimes you tend to hear a few clicking or grinding sounds when moving or flexing your shoulders. This sound is caused by the joint scapulothoracic which is located where the scapula, also called the shoulder blade, rests against the chest wall. These sounds are very rare in a normal person.

The grinding, grating and thumping sounds produced when moving your muscles are described by doctors as snapping scapula syndrome. But, does snapping scapula syndrome cause pain?

Symptoms of Snapping Scapula Syndrome

  • Grating
  • Grinding
  • Snapping

May be heard or felt along the edge or undersurface of the scapula as it moves along the chest wall. These grinding sensations are also called crepitus. Sometimes the joint pops or thumps during movement. Often, these sensations cause no pain.

Causes of Shoulder Tendonitis

  • Repetitive and frequent motions of the shoulder like baseball pitching or bowling lay a huge stress on the shoulder. Upon such repetitive actions, the tissues in shoulder joints tend to get inflamed. Due to inflammation theshoulder blade tissues would thicken. This thickening causes the snapping scapula problem in the shoulder.
  • Also, during the aging process, muscles tend to grow weak and this could cause the scapula muscles to grind against the rib cage while moving the shoulders. This grinding phenomenon might lead to an alignment problem in the bones of the joint scapulothoracic. This could be another reason for snapping scapula syndrome.
  • Sometimes bones in the scapula’s upper edge might develop abnormal curves (could be due to a case of rib fracture). Such abnormalities could cause the body to develop a new bursa (a sack filled with fluid in the scapula that keeps the tissues of the shoulder from friction). The formation of an extra bursa could cause inflammation leading to a phenomenon called bursitis.