Shoulder/back crepitus. Need advice! : GYM

Hey Gym community,

I apologize in advance for the long post.

So I’ve been dealing with some pretty serious “crunching and popping” of my shoulders, rotators cuffs, and upper back for the past few years. I believe it is called crepitus. It started about 5 years ago when my shoulder could pop out. It was not painful but it was certainly uncomfortable at times. I was lifting weights pretty frequently and likely not recovering properly but there also is arthritis and poor joints that are common in my family.

I decided to go to a chiropractor and physical therapy…while both helped with pain and gave me helpful exercises, the uncomfortable crunching of the joints did not get any better. Currently I am still lifting weights about 5x per week and know a lot about fitness and nutrition. I am almost 20 years old but feel like my joints are equivalent to that of an 80 year old. I cannot lift super heavy without serious discomfort and certain exercises I have to avoid now such as overhead presses and heavy barbell squats.

I have incorporated yoga and more foam rolling and stretching into my routine, but this does little for the joint crunching and more for recovery. Does anyone have suggestions for lessening the joint cracking/crunching/popping that limits my mobility and is significantly uncomfortable? Is this something that I will need surgery for? Should I see a better chiropractor? Should I stop lifting weights?

I am aware that only I can make this decision since I best understand my body, but any input would be greatly appreciated! I love working out but have been a little upset with my lack of progress due to my upper body discomfort. I have been avoiding this problem for too long and think that something needs to change!

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