Pain in Collarbone Shoulder and Neck Area

Collarbone Pain

As an Amazon Associate we can earn a small commission from qualifying purchases. This commission doesn't affect products prices.

Clavicle (Collarbone) pain often radiates to the chest or neck area. Let’s look at the causes of this pain and its treatment methods.

What is collarbone Pain?

The collarbone is a long bone that connects to the scapula and the breast bone. As one of the bones that make up the shoulder girdle, it acts to assist stabilize the arm and plays an important function in shoulder mobility and thoracic support. It likewise protects nerve bundles that go to the upper extremities.

In anatomic terms the collarbone is called the clavicle, which is stemmed from the latin word clavicula which means “little secret”. The clavicle varies from other long bones in the body because the shape, size, and positioning may be different from individual to individual depending on differing elements such as age and gender.

The collarbone is connected to seven various muscles and two significant ligaments. Given that the collarbone is such an important bone for upper body motion and since of it’s area, collarbone pain is very typical and can be a sign of conditions that range from small issues, such as straining muscles after coughing or throwing up, to very major health conditions such as being a sign of pericarditis( inflammation of the sac around the heart) or perhaps a sign of a heart attack.

These are some common and uncommon factors, why one might experience collarbone pain.

Collarbone Fractures: The little broken key

The clavicle is among the most commonly broken bones in the body. It just takes about eight pounds of direct pressure to break a collarbone. On the other hand it takes around 25 pounds of pressure to break a humerus (upper arm bone). Taking a look at the terrific difference in the quantities of pressure these 2 bones can withstand it is simple to see how impact on an arm can cause collarbone problems. Since the clavicle is one of the most commonly damaged bones in the human body, the body really has some manner ins which it protects itself if it does ever break. One of those is the Subclavius muscle however more on that later on. Now let us take a look at what may trigger this bone to break.

Possible Causes

Some factors why you might have a damaged collar bone:

  • After a fall (from elevated height or a fall from same level).
  • Sports injury.
  • Accident involving an automobile (including bikes!).
  • Any unexpected direct effect on outstretched arm.

Symptoms and signs

According to The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), if you experience any of these symptoms and signs it may be safe to suspect a damaged collarbone:.

  • Inflammation in the clavicular area.
  • One shoulder lower than the other.
  • Swelling or staining.
  • A single lump over the painful area.

A grinding sensation or sound when pushed. This is called crepitus.
These are the common signs of a fracture, however, some collarbone fractures will not show any of the signs listed above.


If you presume a clavicular fracture it is suggested that you consult your physician immediately. These are some treatments that will help in the meantime.

Similar to any fracture or sprain use the RICE method.

R — Rest the area. Limitation movement as much as possible. For collarbone or shoulder pain a sling and swath can be utilized.

I — Ice. Place a cold compress on the affected area. Never ever place ice straight on skin as this may cause cold burns and superficial tissue damage. Instead cover an ice pack in a cloth or paper towel. Ice impacted areas for around 10 minutes at a time.

C — Compress. The collar bone can be a tricky area to place pressure on to control swelling unlike an extremity which can be covered. A sling will likewise take care of this part of the natural home remedy.

E — Elevate the area. Due to the fact that the collarbone is currently in a raised position, this step simply requires you to stay up rather of lying down. Raising the area will assist reduce swelling and control pain.

Anti-inflammatory — The use of anti-inflammatory medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Aleve, Excedrin) will also significantly minimize swelling and assist manage pain.

Muscle and Ligament Pain

At this point possibly you’ve eliminated the possibility of a fracture. So what else can be triggering the pain? As stated previously, the collarbone is connected to several muscles and tendons. Stress of any one of these muscles or tendons can cause pain that may feel even worse than a fracture.

Strains, or pulls, may be triggered by overuse, underuse, or traumatic injury of the tissues connected to the clavicle.

Muscles that are linked to the collarbone:

The Deltoid

This muscle is responsible for motion of the whole arm. In addition to the deltoid muscles ligaments in the shoulder joint are frequently injured or stretched. One of the most typical ligaments that can be harmed is the acromioclavicular joint (the AC joint). Shoulder surgery is often the only way to repair a damaged ac joint.

The Trapezoid

The trapezoid helps in supporting the arm. It is accountable for scapular contractions and also supports the spine.

The Subclavius

This muscle lies exactly where the name suggests, straight below the clavicle.This muscle serves to move the joint of the breast bone and clavicle.
The subclavius likewise secures underlying blood vessels if the collarbone becomes broken.

The Sternohyoid

This muscles acts to keep the hyoid bone in place. The hyoid is a bone that helps in the act of swallowing and moving the tongue.

The Pectoralis Major

This muscle is accountable for 3 various aircrafts of motion of the arm. It likewise helps in keeping the arm attached to the body.



Heavy weights and repeatative motion.

Athletic activities that include large quantities of weight being raised (bodybuilding, powerlifting, and so on) or sports that include recurring motions (swimming, tennis, and so on) might all cause problems with the collarbone.

  • If the athlete does not appropriately heat up, permit time to recuperate, or have sufficient nutrition.
  • If there is incorrect method throughout the “rack” position in olympic lifting.
  • Athletes may likewise experience collarbone pain while running because of the continuous disconcerting that the runner experiences. This constant effect might make pain from previous injuries more apparent or create new injuries.

Muscles underused

When muscles end up being underused, muscular imbalances can happen. When Muscular imbalances are present stress is placed on neighboring muscles and may cause pain.


Violent coughing may trigger pain in the collar bone. Our bodies are incredible machines that have several mechanisms to look after itself. When we cough, our bodies are trying to clear our respiratory tracts. Often, a violent cough, particularly a series of violent coughs may strain the sternohyoid muscle that runs along the neck. This stress in specific is accountable for a great deal of clavicular pain after coughing. Other reasons for chest pain after coughing can be pleurisy or pericarditis, which will be talked about later.

Tossing up

Like coughing, tossing up triggers lots of muscles to tense simultaneously. Especially the muscles of the chest, throat, and back. All areas that are linked to the collarbone.

Bad posture

Bad posture closely connects to muscular imbalances. Bad posture can produce high amounts of stress in particular muscles and produce pain near impacted areas.


Just like fractures the RICE approach can be utilized to treat muscle and tendon pain at home. If you experience pain with any exercise or particular movement it is very crucial to stop doing that motion. If a muscle or ligament is injured repeatedly, surgery will be the only alternative available to fix the tissue.

Some other alternatives are offered for home treatments:

  • Epsom salt baths can be excellent to help fix muscle pain.
  • Icy hot or other mentholated creams.
  • Essential oils rubbed on the skin.

Referred Pain: Reflections of other Conditions

Referred pain, also understood as reflective pain, is pain that takes place when an area of the body is impacted by a condition and the pain is present someplace else. This kind of pain can be seen in individuals who are having cardiac arrest and they feel pain in their jaw or back.



While pregnant the body goes through a massive amount of changes. One of the changes occurs in the digestive system. Throughout pregnancy food digestion decreases. This can sometimes cause the gallbladder to not empty properly and for that reason trigger solid deposits to form in the gall bladder. Pain from gallstones can be shown to cause shoulder pain and collarbone pain. Another condition that may cause pain in the clavicular area is preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a very major condition that should be treated by a doctor instantly.

Kidney Stones

Like gallstones, kidney stones are strong deposits that are formed in the body. Lots of various conditions might trigger kidney stones but the most common factor they form is because of high uric acid levels in the body and not adequate water intake. It has been said that, for men, the pain of passing a kidney stone is comparable to giving birth.


Pleurisy is the inflammation of the lining of the lungs. This can occur after coughing, tossing up, or when experiencing chest conditions such as pneumonia or COPD.


The fluid filled sac around the heart is called the pericardium. The pericardium protects the heart and keeps it in place. Often this sac can become irritated due to injury or illness. This is a very major and very painful condition that may intensify pain near the clavicle. If left unchecked pericarditis might cause something called pericardium effusion. When the pericardium ends up being irritated, fluid increases in the sac around the heart. This triggers pressure to be put on the heart which might make it tough for the heart to work correctly.

Indigestion and Heartburn

Excess quantities of stomach acid or problems digesting that burrito you simply consumed might also trigger pain near the collarbone. This is a very typical condition. If you have Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) it is highly likely that you may experience referred pain after consuming. This condition can be so painful that it is often incorrect for cardiac symptoms.


Never ever disregard chest pain. The upper body is home to all of our crucial organs and failure of any among them might trigger irreversible damage to our bodies and even death. Even if you believe indigestion or heartburn, it would be smart to at least make a visit with your doctor. A doctor will be able to rule out any serious conditions. It might just be heartburn however if the pain is bad enough that it imitates a cardiovascular disease treatments are readily available that can help.

Other Things That May Cause Collarbone Pain


It is very unusual that cancer will start in the clavicle but possible. If cancer exists in the clavicle it is likely that it started elsewhere and spread to the collarbone.

Pneumothorax or Hemothorax

A pneumothorax is a condition where the lung has actually been punctured and air is leaking into the chest cavity. A hemothorax is when blood has leaked into the chest cavity. Either among these may trigger tension in the chest cavity that can develop pain near the collarbone. Typical signs of pneumothorax are subcutaneous emphysema (air bubbles under the skin). SubQ emphysema can be quickly identified as it looks like bubble cover when you fell it with your hand. Pneumo- or Hemo- thoraces might likewise trigger tracheal variance.


Stress manifests itself in lots of methods. One is tensing of muscles, especially near the shoulders and the neck. If you are under a lot of stress you might have collarbone pain and have no injury at all. Stress can be alleviated with exercise, meditation, herbal remedies, and medications.

If you buy something through a link on this page, we may earn a small commission.

/// About Reyus Mammadli (article's author)

Health and Welfare
Add a comment