Causes of Collarbone Pain

Collarbone pain

is usually not a common problem. The pain can be the resultant of a collarbone fracture, a shoulder injury, injuries to the chest area or the ribs. In some cases, the pain in the collarbone can be caused due to a diseased bone itself.

Collarbone pain

can be experienced as a constant dull pain in the shoulder or when trying to move the arm. Let us see a few causes of this pain in the collarbone.

Causes of Collarbone Pain:

First, let us look at the most common cause of collarbone pain, which is a fracture of the clavicle (collarbone is also referred to as the clavicle).

Although well protected, the clavicle can be fractured when directly stuck (a hard blow). People who are into sports can also fracture their clavicle due to violent motions during play. Falling on the shoulder or an outstretched hand can also lead to a fracture due to the tension in the bone.

Now, let us look at the other causes of pain in the collarbone.

Shoulder Problems:

The shoulder region consists of three bones, viz. the collarbone, shoulder blade and the upper arm bone. These bones from joints in the shoulder region. The joint formed by the collarbone and the shoulder blade is vulnerable to getting dislocated leading to pain in the collarbone.

Flail Chest:

A flail chest is the resultant of rib injuries or fractures which displaces a part of the chest wall into an abnormal position or makes the chest wall move abnormally during breathing. This is another reason for pain in the clavicle.


Osteomyelitis is an infection of the bone. It can be either acute or chronic. Osteomyelitis can affect the bones in the shoulder region, which is where the clavicle also exists. Bacteria, fungi and viral infections can lead to osteomyelitis causing swelling and bone pain.


In osteolysis, the bone is resopred or broken down causing the calcium in the bone fluid to get mixed in the blood. The acromioclavicular joint, which exists between the collar bone and the shoulder blade can suffer from osteolysis causing it to weaken and cause pain in the collarbone.

Collarbone pain

caused by a fracture would alleviate with proper rest after the bone is wrapped in a cast, the pain caused by osteolysis and osteomyelitis is alleviated with the anti-inflammatory medications. A surgery may also be required in certain cases.

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