Subclavius Muscle Pain

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Written By Dr. Andrew Park

MD, PhD. Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Physician from São Paulo - Brazil. Pain Fellowship in University of São Paulo.


A condition that affects the subclavius muscle is subclavius muscular pain. The subclavius muscle is a tiny muscle located at the top of the rear of the chest. It is located between the clavicle and the first rib. When you move your shoulder or shift your head to one side, you normally feel discomfort.

This article will enlighten readers about subclavius muscle discomfort, how it can be caused, and how it can be treated.

Muscular Anatomy

Subclavius muscle as upper body shoulder muscular system outline diagram. Labeled educational neck and ribcage skeletal bones with clavicle, ribs and costal cartilage location vector illustration.

The subclavius muscle is a small muscle that is situated deep inside the chest. Two of these muscles exist in the human body, and each one inserts into the clavicle bone’s inferior portion (collarbone).


A strong tendon from the sternal end of the first rib, close to its articulation with the costal cartilage, is where the subclavius muscle gets its start.


the middle section of the clavicle’s body’s bottom surface (groove for subclavius muscle).

Nerve Supply

The subclavian nerve (C5-6) is a little branch that emerges from the superior trunk of the brachial plexus and innervates the subclavius.

Blood Supply

The suprascapular artery and the clavicular branch of the thoracoacromial artery both provide blood to the subclavius muscle.

Functions of Subclavius Muscle

The primary job of the subclavius muscle is to actively stabilize the clavicle at the sternoclavicular joint while the shoulder and arm are being moved. Additionally, as a result of its contraction, the first rib is elevated after the sternal end of the clavicle is depressed. Even though this movement is rather modest, it still aids in preventing clavicle dislocation at the sternoclavicular joint during specific types of activities.

In the event of a clavicle fracture, the subclavius also plays a crucial role in protecting the nearby subclavian blood vessels and the superior trunk of the brachial plexus.

Causes of Subclavius Muscle Pain

Pain in the muscle can result from a variety of actions. This muscle might ache a lot when you lift anything big. When working with their arms extended, such as when using a computer or driving, it may result in Subclavius muscle soreness. Avoid maintaining the forward-rolled shoulders since doing so puts tension on the Subclavius muscle.

People who sleep on their sides with their arm raised over their heads risk additional damage and muscular strain.

The symptoms of the costoclavicular syndrome might include pain in the subclavius. This happens when the area between the clavicle and the first rib has shrunk, frequently as a result of the clavicle decompression. Heavy backpacks or even tight bra straps can cause Clavicle depression.

The cause of subclavius muscle soreness is frequently misdiagnosed. This may be because it is challenging to diagnose or because a number of other illnesses, such as rotator cuff syndrome, have symptoms that resemble discomfort in the subclavius muscle.

Trigger Points of Subclavius Muscle

Trigger points are highly sensitive spots in muscles where the muscle fibers have been damaged. The most common trigger points are located in the upper arm or shoulder muscles.

When pressure is placed on a trigger point, it may cause an incorrect response from a surrounding muscle or joint, resulting in discomfort or damage. This is because trigger points are hyperirritable regions in skeletal muscles where there is a large release of substances such as norepinephrine, serotonin, and histamine, which can induce constriction of blood vessels and adjacent neurons.

These places frequently contain so many sensitive nerves that even brushing across them can produce pain, tingling, or numbness in other parts of the body.

Pain Patterns and Symptoms

The ipsilateral Biceps Brachii and lateral forearm are mentioned in relation to trigger points in the Subclavius muscle. Localized discomfort will be felt directly below the collarbone.

The arm, shoulder, and hand may experience pain as pins and needles. In most cases, the discomfort travels past the elbow and wrist and instead affects the thumb, middle finger, and radial portion of the hand.

Management of Subclavius Muscle Pain

Increasing the distance between the Clavicle and the Rib is the main goal of treatment for Subclavius discomfort. This can be accomplished by building up the muscles, namely the Pectorals Major and Minor and the Scalene, that raise the Clavicles and the Ribs.

The symptoms can also be lessened by wearing strapless bras and maintaining good posture.

Finally, painkillers, heat, and ice all work to reduce discomfort.


A little triangle muscle that is located below the breastbone and clavicle is the subclavius muscle, also known as the clavicular muscle. Overuse, injury, or even just poor posture can all lead to pain in this region.

Because there are several muscles in the region and it may be coming from more than one, it can be difficult to determine what is causing your discomfort. The best way to know for sure is through an examination.

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MD. Physiatrist at University of São Paulo

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