This must have been going on a lot longer than a few months, since I believe you've been training for quite a while now. The popping may not seem so troublesome, but you also mentioned a "grinding", which does seem to indicate that perhaps some damage might be taking place. If you haven't gone to a doctor, you probably should, so you don't wind up with a permanent case of arthritis. I would also seek the care of a competent acupuncturist (preferably one that is an M.D.)I've seen one here work miracles on a guy I used to train Kung Fu with who had a damaged rotator(?) cuff in his shoulder from sparring with a combat steel (heavy) quan dao (horse cutter). The longer you've had the injury, the more treatments you'll need, but don't give up. Ibuprofen (an anti-inflammatory) might help as well as Salonpas. These are patches that are applied directly to the injured area from Japan which contain salycilic acid (aspirin) and are available over the counter at any oriental grocery store. I would also try taking glucosamine. The grinding sounds like you might be lacking synuvial fluid in your joints, so you might try to do some research on what might replace that. I'd also seek out a reputable cranio-sacral therapist. They work wonders with body energy. I'm not a medical person, so I'm merely giving you some ideas of things that have worked successfully for me in the past. Colleen - where are you? I believe she is a medical person, so hopefully she can give you some better advice. Good luck with this and I hope you'll keep us informed on what does help with that situation since I believe others would also benefit.