Pain Around The Collar Bone Area - Clavicle Pain

Despite its relatively small size, clavicle bone can cause quite a bit of discomfort, I know this all to well. Several years ago I was faced with a constant pain in the region around this bone and, since the pain did not go away I decided to visit the doctor. But the doctor gave me the same old speech “There is nothing wrong, it will go away on its own, don`t worry about it.” Since I was not satisfied with his answer I decided to do some research on my own and I`m sharing my findings with you today.


Clavicle (commonly known as collar bone), is a long bone located in between the sternum and scapula (shoulder blade). You noticed I said it was a long bone, even though it is only around 15 cm long, its characteristics make it a long bone by type (I will not go into details, since they are not all that relevant to the topic of today`s article).

Even though the bone is rather small one, it has a number of responsibilities and important functions:

  • Along with the shoulder blade, it offers support to the upper limbs and allows full range of motion
  • It serves as a protection to major blood vessels and nerves located in this area
  • It serves as a muscle attachment

Collar Bone Pain (Clavicle Pain)

There are a number of reasons for pain around the collar bone area, in the following text we will go over them.


One of the most common causes of the pain in the clavicle area is an existing fracture. A fracture can occur in many ways, falling on outstretched hand, fall on the shoulder or a direct hit to the clavicle.

How will you know if you fractured it? Well, it`s pretty obvious that you will feel pain, a swelling will appear, followed by a limited range of motion and an increase in pain intensity when trying to more your arm.

After you have suffered a collar bone fracture, you must visit your doctor immediately. But, until you do, there are several things you can do to reduce pain:

  • Rest and immobilize the shoulder joint along with your entire arm
  • Apply ice pact to reduce the swelling and pain
  • And use medication
  • When the process of healing is complete, you might need to engage in physical therapy to regain your full range of motion.

Other Causes Of Pain Around Or Under The Collar Bone

As we`ve seen before, fracture is pretty obvious cause of pain and you don`t have to be a rocket scientist (or a doctor for that matter) to identify it. But, there are a number of other causes and conditions where pain around the clavicle is felt.

Once of the more simple causes of clavicle pain is an awkward sleeping position. If you wake up and feel irritation in the lower neck area and below the collar bone, chances are you slept on your shoulder in a very awkward position, pressing your nerves and causing irritation and pain. In this case, pain will go away on its own, so you don`t need to worry.

Tense neck muscles may also be causing problems. If you start to feel pain in your chest or around the collar bone area, when breathing deeply, there is a chance your neck muscles are tight and are pressing on your throat, making it sore. If this is, indeed the case, you need to relax your muscles (you can try out these exercises – Exercises For Neck Pain Relief). It could also be an infection, therefore, visiting your doctor is a must.

One of the more severe causes of clavicle area pain is arthritis. Even though clavicle is rather small, it is connected to two more bones of our body, meaning it is a part of two joints. If you`ve developed arthritis in either one of those joints, you will experience pain and discomfort which is why I, again, advise you to go see your doctor,  get a thorough physical examination and get to the bottom of your pain!
Other common causes include:

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  • Rotator cuff injury – rotator cuff is a group of muscles responsible for shoulder joint (its movement, strength and stability) and if there is a problem with any one of these muscles, it can cause pain around the clavicle
  • Bursitit – swelling in the bursa located in this region
  • Pinched nerve
  • Repetitive movement
  • Bone spurs
  • Muscle and joint stiffness 

Igor About Igor
Hi everyone and welcome to our website! The main reason behind it was my desire to combine my two great passions in life. The first one was medicine and my desire to help people and when i combined it with my passion for blogging was born! I hope you enjoy your stay and ease your pain with our helpful tips!