Common Causes of Clavicle Pain

Clavicle pain is usually experienced if there is a fracture in the collar bone, or if you are injured in the shoulder, ribs or chest. This type of pain can also be a result of certain bone diseases. This condition is commonly known as collar bone pain, but for the sake of discussion let’s use the generally accepted medical term, which is clavicle pain.

The most common cause of clavicle pain is a fracture in the clavicle itself. In many cases, the clavicle is protected by hard bones. However, if it received a hard beating, a fracture can happen. The clavicle can also be fractured if there is a tension as a result of violent movements. Thus, it is one of the usual sports injuries experienced by wrestlers, football players, tennis players and other athletes who are into sports that require more movements using the clavicle. Falling on your shoulder can also create a tension on the clavicle that makes it fractured.

Clavicle pain can also happen when there is an injury in the muscles, tendons and ligaments within the collar bone area. This could happen from other fractures to these areas. For instance, degenerative arthritis in the neck area can damage nerves that can lead to neck pain and clavicle pain. Also, degenerative disc disease in the cervical spondylosis in the neck area can lead to neck pain stretching to the collar bone.

Unusual conditions including the spine, heart, lungs and diaphragm can also cause clavicle pain. Such examples conditions are:

  1. Fractured collar bone

Falling on your shoulder can cause your clavicle to be fractured. This is certainly usual when athletes accidentally injure themselves.

  1. Inflammation of the Bursa or bursitis

A bursa is a pod situated over the joints providing a soft cushion to the joints and muscles. If worn out, bursa can swell leading to bursitis that can be also a cause of clavicle pain.

  1. Heart problems

Specifically, heart attacks can result to neck and clavicle pain. This is also called as referred pain.

  1. Fractured shoulder blade

A fracture to the shoulder blade is normally linked with a very strong shock or tension in the clavicle causing excruciating pain.

  1. Damage in the rotator cuffs

The rotator cuff is a bundle of tendons that fortifies the shoulder. These tendons can be fractured during tensions, when doing strenuous activities involving a lot of repetitive motions.

  1. Shoulder separation

Often called as the A-C separation, the clavicle and the shoulder blade could separate when the connecting ligaments are fractures causing pain in the shoulder blades and clavicle.

  1. Whiplash fracture

Fracture to the ligaments and muscles in the neck and collar bone are can be caused by abrupt motion such as during automobile accidents.

  1. Inflammation of the Tendon

Swelling of the tendons or medically known as tendonitis can also cause clavicle pain. The tendons link the muscles to the bones. Due to stress, the tendons can be inflamed resulting to pain.

  1. Any cause of swelling in the abdomen area can also result to clavicle pain.

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  1. What I noticed the most is that people misdiagnose themselves, thinking they fractured the collarbone when they really had trauma to the shoulder :) This of course does not pertain to a broken collarbone when the patient has an open fracture. Very good read and nice summary on the clavicle pain. Thank you!

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