Real Time Analytics Skip to content

Subclavius Muscle: Collarbone, Arm, Hand, Finger Pain

(Last Updated On: August 9, 2018)

Pain around the collarbone, down the arm into the hand can indicate problems with the subclavius muscle.

What are the pain and symptoms associated with the subclavius?

  • Pain below the collarbone
  • Pain in the upper arm
  • Sends pain down the forearm into the thumb, forefinger, and middle finger
  • A reliable indicator of subclavius muscle dysfunction is pain on the outside of the upper arm that skips over the elbow then extends into the forearm. Pain can also extend to the thumb, index, and middle finger while skipping over the wrist.
  • The muscle can tighten restricting circulation to the arm and hand causing tingling and numbness

Where is the subclavius muscle?

The subclavius is a muscle that lies just below the collarbone. It connects the collarbone (clavicle) to the first rib.

What movements do the subclavius muscles control?

  • Stabilizes the collarbone
  • Raises the first rib to aid with breathing

Activities that cause subclavius pain and symptoms:

  • Lifting heavy objects
  • Working with your arms out in front of you (computer, driving)
  • Keeping your shoulders rolled forward
  • Sleeping on your side with your arm above your head
  • Broken collarbone (clavicle)

TWD Recommends: Stop Lugging Around Heavy Briefcases, Backpacks and Purses

The subclavius and other muscles of the neck and shoulder can become sore and painful when you carry a satchel briefcase or purse,
carry a backpack slung over one shoulder, or use a shoulder bag. Carrying even moderately heavy bags regularly not only stresses neck, shoulder, and upper back, it also throws the body off balance which can lead to pain and stiffness in the low back, hips, and knees. To help keep muscles and joints healthy and pain free consider a wheeled briefcase for business or a backpack with wheels for school activities. A crossbody messenger bag is another option that will distribute the some of the bag's weight across the body instead of pulling your arm and shoulder down. And for the ladies? How about a stylish crossbody purse?

Subclavius Origin, Insertion, Action, Innervation

The subclavius muscle assists with breathing and stabilizes the clavicle.

Interesting facts about the subclavius:

  • The Subclavius helps to protect the nerve bundle and circulatory bundles which go to the arm when the collarbone is broken. The collarbone is the most frequently broken long bone in the human body. If the collarbone has ever been broken or dislocated, problems will arise in the subclavius muscle and it should be examined.
  • Dysfunctional symptoms of the subclavius muscle mimic the symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome.

Clinical diagnoses to which the subclavius muscle symptoms may contribute:

  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • Brachial Plexus Entrapment
  • C5 or C6 radiculopathy
  • Adhesive Capsulitis
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Rotator Cuff Injury
  • Dislocated or fractured collarbone
  • Separated shoulder

Other muscles that should be considered and examined in conjunction with the subclavius muscle:

Satellite trigger points associated with the subclavius muscle:

  • Deltoids
  • Teres Minor

For detailed anatomy information:  Subclavius Anatomy

Help with Subclavius Muscle Pain and Symptoms

Biofreeze Pain Relieving Gel is an excellent pain relieving gel and I recommend it for those who have sudden onset muscle pain or recent injuries.  Biofreeze is better than warm therapy gels and creams for recent injury muscle pain as it cools the area much like ice and does not promote swelling.  A recent study showed that Biofreeze decreased pain 2 times more than ice and the pain relief lasts 9 – 10 longer. Biofreeze  is recommended for those who have had a recent shoulder or neck injury or sudden onset pain.  Highly recommended for early treatment of collarbone and rib injuries.

Warm Therapy Gel To Relax Tight Muscles and Relieve Chronic Pain From Old Injuries

Sombra Warm Therapy Pain Relieving Gel is a pain relieving gel that I use both personally and professionally in my massage therapy practice. Unlike other over the counter heating creams, it provides therapeutic warmth without burning heat.  Applying Sombra around the collarbone (clavicle), over the shoulder, up the side and back of the neck can help reduce tension and pain caused by the subclavius muscle. If you are experiencing arm pain rub the gel down the arm to help ease the pain.  I recommend using Sombra for old injuries and chronic pain, not for recent injury or sudden onset pain.

Pillow To Relax and Stretch The Subclavius Muscles To Help Shoulder, Arm, Hand Pain and Tingling

Soothe-a-ciser: Relief for neck and shoulder pain helps relieve pressure and pain in the neck, chest, shoulders and upper back.  10 – 15 minutes laying on the pillow allows muscles in the neck, chest, shoulders and upper back to relax and can relieve or even stop some headaches. It can work especially well for those with tight pectoral (chest)  muscles, subclavius muscles, and people who have slumping upper posture or rounded shoulders. If your pain is due to a recently fractured collarbone, do not use this pillow until the bone is healed.  A great pillow for people who work at desks and computers.

Self Treatment For Arm and Hand Pain Caused By Subclavius Muscle and Broken Collarbone (Clavicle)

Do you know that when you fracture the collarbone” knots” as well as other dysfunction can develop in the subclavius muscle and can cause pain, tingling, and numbness down the arm into the hand?

If you are interested in self-treatment of muscle pain, I recommend Claire Davies  The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief.  Mr. Davies explain the trigger point phenomenon and muscle pain in everyday language.  But what makes this book worth its weight in gold are the individual muscle trigger point treatments that Davies has compiled. His diagrams and step by step instructions help you locate which muscles are contributing to your pain,  how to find the trigger point and treat it.  It takes time and practice to master finding trigger points, but once you learn you have a tool and method to help relieve muscle pain throughout the body. If you suffer from unresolved burning, tingling, numbness and pain in the shoulder, arm and hand I highly recommend this book. Relieving trigger points in subclavius muscle as well as other chest, shoulder and neck have helped many people resolve head and neck pain issues. This book is a must-have for anyone interested in finding the cause and treating muscle pain.

Leave a Comment

Scroll To Top