Treating a shoulder for a popping sound depends on the cause, but many shoulder strains and tears can be treated with mobility exercises, according to WebMD. Common strains that produce a popping, cracking or clicking sound include rotator cuff injuries and superior labrum tears, also known as SLAP tears.
Labrum strains and tears in the shoulder are generally caused by repetitive actions, falling down, a direct blow to the shoulder area or lifting heavy objects, according to the University of California San Francisco Medical Center. Most strains cause weakness, pain and limited range of motion. Anti-inflammatory medicines, or NSAIDs, may be prescribed to relieve the pain. In some cases surgery may be necessary.