How in the heck can I wash my neck... if my shoulder keeps popping?
May 23, 2013 9:00 AM   Subscribe

I've always used my non-dominant hand to wash the middle of my back (or apply baby powder or sun lotion there, etc.), by sort of reaching up high from below and then rolling my hand around my thumb (pressed on my back) until the palm faces the skin. This seems to have been working fine for several decades (and I've been secretly pleased to be able to reach my "blind spot" that way). However, in the last few months I find that my shoulder pops as I'm doing this maneuver, and now I wonder if it's doing something bad. Since this is something I guess I do once or twice per day, I want to be sure I'm not setting myself up for a shoulder problem after a couple more decades of popping. Thoughts? tl;dr Is popping a joint bad in itself, and/or should I stop an action that causes a (nonpainful) shoulder pop a couple times per day?
posted by acm to Health & Fitness (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Get a shower brush with a nice long handle. Just a few bucks and it will feel great.
posted by txmon at 9:07 AM on May 23, 2013 [3 favorites]

Scrubby thing onna stick! I don't know if I just have shitty joints or what but I'm in my 30s and I have extensive arthritis, mostly from athletic overuse, but I'm sure the many years I spent gleefully cracking my knees didn't help much.
posted by elizardbits at 9:10 AM on May 23, 2013

Or instead of using a washcloth, try switching to a dish-towel sized cloth and using two hands, one up and one down, to kind of "floss" your back. No need to buy anything then.
posted by resurrexit at 9:24 AM on May 23, 2013

Can you reach over the top instead? That's what I do.
posted by Salamander at 9:40 AM on May 23, 2013

I use a Salux (google image search is better than the website). It's basically a long washcloth made of scrubby pouf material. You can grab both ends and scrub (as per resurrexit), then hang it up in the shower.

Just realized, though, that none of us are answering your question, which is whether or not it's bad to pop your shoulder. I really have no idea.
posted by AmandaA at 11:23 AM on May 23, 2013

Beside back brushes, there are also long-handled lotion applicators. Maybe Bed, Bath and Beyond or similar store would carry them, or Amazon if you are an internet shopper. Popping your shoulder unnecessarily seem like a poor idea. What is your mental image of what is happening to the joint when you do this?
posted by Cranberry at 12:25 PM on May 23, 2013

Response by poster: Honestly, I'm not quite willing to get one gizmo to wash my back in the shower (I can do it by the diagonal dual grip "flossing" technique anyway) and another to put powder under my bra line at the sink.

Anybody have thoughts about whether this is bad for my shoulder?
posted by acm at 12:33 PM on May 23, 2013

Try using the back of your hand instead of the palm.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 12:36 PM on May 23, 2013

Huh? Why would joint popping be a bad thing? It's just a noise. It happens when you move into an unusual position. I don't think there's anything to worry about, as it is apparently causing you no discomfort. If you're worried speak to a doctor, but you aren't describing symptoms of anything apart from, y'know, having at least one shoulder
posted by howfar at 2:50 PM on May 23, 2013

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