This is not a major problem for me--it only happens so often, not everyday or anything, I'm just curious. Sometimes I get pain in the area right about at my clavicle or just slightly above it. It's only on the left side, never the right. It is not terribly painful or anything, but it does ache very much. I know one time I had finished a meal when it started to hurt, and I know another time I had done pretty vigorous exercise the day previous, but besides that I don't know. ALso, sometime slight shortness of breath accompanies this feeling (not severe, just have to breath reallllly deep or else feel like I perhaps will pass out).
Hey, Jaded! Sorry to hear about this discomfort. I'm a massage therapist, so muscular problems come to mind when you describe problems in the area above your clavicle. There is a set of three muscles called the scalenes running from your upper ribs to the sides of your neck. You can feel them in the triangle between your neck, clavicle and trapezius. They feel kind of wiry and vulnerable. Place your the pads of your fingers gently in the area and then quickly sniff air in through your nose. These muscles are involved with your breathing, so a couple of quick sniffs should tense them up so you can feel them more readily.
Here is some information I copied off the 'net for you:
The scalene are lateral vertebral muscles which begin at the first and second ribs and pass up into the sides of the neck. There are three of these muscles. (1) The "scalenus anterior muscle," which, when the neck is fixed, elevates the first rib to aid in breathing or when the rib is fixed, bends the neck forward and sideways and rotates it to the opposite side. (2) The "scalenus medius" is similar to the scalenus anterior and raises the first rib from above or bends to slightly rotates the neck from below. (3) The "scalenus posterior" raises the second rib or bends and slightly rotates the neck. This muscle may be absent or may extend to the third rib. When the scalene muscles are fixed from above, they elevate the first and second ribs to become respiratory muscles for breathing. Acting from below, they bend the spinal column to the same side or, if muscles act on both sides, the spinal column is slightly flexed.
Tightness in the muscles could cause soreness and would also restrict the movement of your ribs, changing your ability to breathe efficiently. This is something that an experienced massage therapist, preferably a neuromuscular therapist, can help you work out. Not all MTs have worked with the scalenes, however, so be sure to find someone with that specific knowledge. You have a bunch of circulatory and nervous system stuff near these muscles, so this work is not for the novice.
Good luck getting some relief. Please let me know if you have any questions.
I have this exact same problem and have not been able to figure it out. For me, the pain occurs occasionally (not always) when I'm exercising. And I mean doing cardio such as walking fast or running. I usually get the pain at my left clavicle, but have once gotten it at my right. Although I have limited medical knowledge, I am hesitant to believe it is a muscular problem. It feels more arterial - as though something is going on with the subclavian artery. It is a great pressure that doesn't feel muscular at all. Does any one else have any ideas?
I'm 46 y.o. male and have intermitten pain behind my right clavicle. When it comes it stays for a week or more. Pains when I breathe, can't really get comfortable while it flares up. Feels like it goes to my core. Any ideas?