How the Clavicle Bone Affects Health

Chiropractor and Acupuncturist Chapel Hill, NC

At Acupractic Natural Healing Center, chiropractor and acupuncturist Dr. Lisa Oskardmay evaluates clavicle range of motion and pain as part of a routine exam because this small superior bone impacts our health in many ways. When a patient presents with neck or shoulder pain, hand or elbow irritation, or problems getting a deep breath or even slow metabolism, this area of the upper extremity can reveal clues and treatment options.

What is the Clavicle Bone?

The clavicle is elongated, turned sideways, and rotated s-shaped bone in the upper front of the body. A part of each shoulder, we have two clavicles. Attached to each clavicle is a series of muscles that affects shoulder range of motion, strength, and position, as well as neck position in part owing to the anterior neck muscles. The clavicles should make each move and rotate equally without pain popping noise upon arm movement overhead and shoulder rotation. Lack of rotation from improper muscle coordination in the complex shoulder can eventually cause shoulder bursitis and pain. Anterior head position, called ‘tech neck by many, refers to the bent forward head position assumed by many people nowadays as they peer over their devices for work and pleasure. This lordotic slump reduces clavicle movement and is a silent but significant cause of health impairment seen in our office.

Notably, the position and movement of the clavicles impact respiration, and the top of the lung resides just above these shoulder bones. When a person breathes with their shoulder muscles in place of the abdomen, as doctors suggest, the ensuing shoulder muscle tightness can affect clavicle movement and impair respiration. The clavicle lifts typically at the end of respiration to bring in extra air when needed. In contrast, the abdomen ideally performs the bulk of the respiratory effort, ballooning out to draw air into the lungs. In addition to helping people recognize the importance of belly breathing and shoulder range of motion, Dr. Oskardmay uses chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage techniques to improve muscle and bone coordination in the neck and shoulder.

clavicle bone

Several vital nerves and blood vessels surround and run under the clavicles. The brachial plexus is a series of nerves arising from the lower part of the neck vertebrae C5,6,7. This nerve bundle passes between the middle and anterior scalene neck muscles originating from the neck and attaching to the first rib below the clavicle. The brachial plexus sends sensory and motor messages to the shoulder and arm muscles. Compression or irritation of these nerves under the clavicle or between the scalene muscles can affect upper extremity movement and pain. Conditions such as neck pain, frozen shoulder, thoracic outlet syndrome, or shoulder bursitis can result in shoulder and arm and hand pain, tingling, and numbness, even muscle weakness. Left untreated, minor problems can turn into more significant issues.

Dr. Oskardmay strives to determine the cause of each patient’s pain and disability at our chiropractic and acupuncture office. It is not uncommon for patients to come into our office with long-term residual neck and shoulder pain, tightness, shallow breathing, and other troublesome ailments that affect overall life quality and ability to exercise and breathe fully. Palpation and treatment of clavicle motion and tenderness using chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage applied to the neck and shoulder complex frequently helps to improve troublesome symptoms.

Call today to schedule your visit. Serving the Triangle community since 1995, we love helping people get and feet well and look forward to serving your healthcare needs. Call (919) 929-1400 or schedule online 24 hours a day at acudocnc.com.