What Causes Collarbone Pain?

What does it mean to have collarbone pain? Why does it happen? Do you need to see a doctor? Is it a serious situation? How does it go? What is good for collarbone pain? You can find the answers to all these questions and much more below.

Where is the collarbone?

The collarbone is a horizontal bone located between the scapula and the breastbone, and collarbone pain naturally occurs in this area. There are two collarbones, one on the left and one on the right. It is the only long bone in the body that extends horizontally and together with the scapula forms the shoulder girdle. It is a tactile bone. In people with less fat in this area, the location of the bone can be seen clearly because it creates a protrusion on the skin.

What is collarbone pain?

Collarbone pain is an uncomfortable condition that can be perceived as shoulder pain and sometimes neck pain. The most common causes of collarbone pain are from injuries. However, collarbone pain can come on gradually or suddenly, with or without injury. The most common definitions of collarbone pain are tenderness, throbbing, aching, dullness, or stabbing pain.

What causes collarbone pain?

Possible causes of collarbone pain, which can sometimes be felt as shoulder or neck pain, include:

1- Collarbone fracture

Because of its position in the body, the collarbone is prone to fracture when a significant force is applied to the shoulder. The collarbone is one of the bones most prone to fracture in the human body. ( Source ) If you fall hard on one shoulder or fall with great force on your outstretched arm, you may risk breaking your collarbone.

Other common causes of a collarbone fracture include:

  • Sports injury: A direct hit to your shoulder in football or other contact sports can cause a collarbone fracture.
  • Vehicle accident: An automobile or motorcycle accident can damage the shoulder, breastbone, or both.
  • Birth accident: As a newborn baby descends through the birth canal, they can break the collarbone and cause other injuries.

The most obvious symptom of a collarbone fracture is sudden, intense pain at the site of the fracture. The pain usually gets worse as you move your shoulder. You may also hear or feel a squeak with any shoulder movement.

Other common symptoms of a broken collarbone include:

  • Swelling
  • bruising
  • Sensibility
  • Stiffness in the affected arm

Newborns with a broken collarbone may not be able to move the injured arm for several days after birth.

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To diagnose a collarbone fracture, your doctor will carefully examine the injury for bruising, swelling, and other signs of fracture. The X-ray will show the exact location and extent of the fracture.

Treatment often involves immobilizing the arm for several weeks. You may probably need to attach a sling at first. You can also wear a shoulder brace that pulls both shoulders back slightly to help the bone heal in the correct position.

In the case of a severe fracture, surgical treatment may be required. You may need pins or screws to get the broken parts of the bone to heal together properly.

2- Osteoarthritis (calcification)

Wear and tear on the acromioclavicular joint or the sternoclavicular joint can cause osteoarthritis in one or both joints. Arthritis can result from an old injury or simply from daily use over many years.

Osteoarthritis symptoms include pain and stiffness in the affected joint. Symptoms tend to develop slowly and get progressively worse over time. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen, can help reduce the pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis.

Corticosteroid injections can also help relieve inflammation and pain over a long period of time. It may also be helpful to avoid activities that trigger pain and stiffness. In rare cases, your doctor may recommend surgery to repair the joint.

3- Thoracic outlet syndrome

Your thoracic outlet is the space between your collarbone and your highest rib. The cavity is filled with blood vessels, nerves, and muscles. Weak shoulder muscles can allow the collarbone to slide down, putting pressure on nerves and blood vessels in the thoracic outlet.

Collarbone pain, which can sometimes be felt in the neck and shoulder region, can occur even if the bone itself is not damaged.

Causes of thoracic outlet syndrome include:

  • Injury to the shoulder
  • bad posture
  • Repetitive stress, such as lifting something heavy many times or competitive swimming
  • Obesity that puts pressure on all your joints
  • Congenital defect, such as being born with an extra rib

The symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome vary depending on which nerves or blood vessels are affected by the displaced collarbone. Some symptoms include:

  • Pain in the collarbone, shoulder, neck, or hand
  • Muscle wasting in the fleshy part of the thumb
  • tingling or numbness in an arm or fingers
  • Weakened grasping ability
  • Arm pain or swelling (indicates a blood clot)
  • Discoloration in your hand or fingers
  • Weakness in your arm or neck
  • a painful lump on the collarbone

During the physical exam, your doctor may ask you to move your arms, neck, or shoulders to check for pain or limitations in your range of motion.

Imaging tests, including X-rays, ultrasound, and MRI- scans will help your doctor see which nerves or blood vessels are being compressed by your collarbone.

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The first line of treatment for thoracic outlet syndrome is physical therapy. In this case, you will need to exercise to increase the strength and flexibility of your shoulder muscles and improve your posture. This should open the outlet and relieve pressure on the involved blood vessels and nerves.

In more severe cases, surgery may be done to remove part of the rib and widen the thoracic outlet. Surgery to repair injured blood vessels is also possible.

4- Joint injury

Your shoulder can also be injured without breaking any bones. One injury that can cause significant collarbone pain is separation of the acromioclavicular (AC) joint. An AC joint separation refers to the tearing of the ligaments that stabilize the joint and help the bones stay in place.

AC joint injuries are usually caused by a fall or direct blow to the shoulder. A mild separation can cause some pain, while a more serious ligament tear can put the collarbone out of alignment. In addition to pain and tenderness around the collarbone, a bulge on the shoulder may develop.

Treatment options include:

  • Cold compress and rest
  • A brace that fits over the shoulders to help stabilize the joint
  • In severe cases, surgical treatment to repair torn ligaments and possibly cut off part of the collarbone to fit snugly into the joint

5- Sleeping position

Lying on your side and applying unusual pressure to the collarbone can also cause collarbone pain, which can also be felt in the neck or shoulder area. This discomfort will usually pass. If you can make it a habit to sleep on your back or on the other side, you may be able to avoid it altogether.

Less common causes for collarbone pain

There are some potentially serious causes of collarbone pain that have nothing to do with fractures or changes in the position of the bone in the area or your shoulder joint. These include:

1- Osteomyelit

Osteomyelitis is a bone infection that causes pain and other symptoms. Possible causes include:

  • Piercing of one end of the collarbone into the skin
  • Pneumonia, sepsis, or another bacterial infection elsewhere in the body that travels to the collarbone
  • An open wound near the collarbone that has become infected

Symptoms of osteomyelitis of the collarbone include pain (such as shoulder and neck pain) and tenderness in the collarbone area. Other signs may include:

  • swelling and warmth around the infection
  • Fire
  • Nausea
  • Ciltte will be jealous

Treatment of osteomyelitis begins with a dose of antibiotics. At first, you may receive antibiotics intravenously in the hospital. This may be followed by oral medications. Antibiotic therapy may take several months.

Any pus or fluid at the site of infection should also be drained. The affected shoulder may need to be immobilized for several weeks while it heals.

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2- Cancer

When cancer causes collarbone pain, it may be because the cancer has actually spread to the bone or nearby lymph nodes are involved.

You have lymph nodes all over your body. When cancer has spread to them, you may notice pain and swelling in the nodes above the collarbone, under the arm, near the groin, and in the neck.

Neuroblastoma is a type of cancer that can affect the lymph nodes or enter the bones. It is also a condition that can affect young children. In addition to pain, other symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Fire
  • Hypertension
  • rapid heartbeat
  • Exude

Cancers that grow in the collarbone, shoulder, or arm may be treated with radiation therapy or surgery, depending on the nature of the disease and how far it has progressed.

When to see a doctor for collarbone pain?

Pain that lasts more than a day or gets progressively worse should warrant a visit to the doctor as soon as possible. Any injury that causes a noticeable change in collarbone position or shoulder should be treated as a medical emergency. If you delay medical attention, you can complicate the healing process.

Which doctor should I go to for collarbone pain?

If you suspect a collarbone or other serious shoulder injury, it is recommended that you make an appointment to see your orthopedic doctor. There are many options for treatment, but these are usually more effective if the injury is diagnosed early.

How is collarbone pain relieved?

Mild collarbone pain, which may also be felt in the neck and shoulder area, which may be associated with a muscle strain or minor injury, can be treated at home with the following strategies:

  • Rest : You can avoid activities that put even a small load on your shoulders.
  • Ice: You can put ice packs on the pain area for about 20 minutes every four hours.
  • Compression: In the case of collarbone pain, which can also be felt in the shoulder and neck area, a medical professional may carefully wrap your shoulder. But you shouldn’t try to do it on your own. Keeping your arm and shoulder still in the sling can help reduce further injury.
  • Height: You can keep your shoulder above your heart to help reduce swelling. It is useful to do this for at least 24 hours. If possible, sleep with your head and shoulders slightly elevated.

If your pain does not go away with these measures, you should see a doctor.

As a result

Most people can expect a full recovery from a broken or dislocated collarbone, especially if the injury is treated early. The causes of collarbone pain should be identified. Some of these will pass with self-help measures, while others will require medical treatment. It is always a good idea to see a doctor if the cause of collarbone pain is unclear.

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