What can cause pain around the collar bone of your shoulder if the bone is not broken and you have full range of motion?

“Nagging aches or pains around the collar bone may be caused by osteoarthritis of the acromioclavicular joint, also known as the AC joint; or the sternoclavicular joint, or the SC joint,” says Dr. Mark Galland, orthopedic surgeon, sports medicine specialist and physician at Orthopaedic Specialists of North Carolina.

What is osteoarthritis?

It’s when the cartilage between bones wears down over time, so that eventually, the contact is made between bones: bone on bone.

The job of cartilage is to provide a cushion or shock absorption between two bones.

If this layer of cushioning tissue becomes thinner or wears down over time, there’s less shock absorption, and the joint begins to hurt.

This process happens commonly to the knees, which is why people get knee replacement surgery.

It also occurs fairly commonly to the hip joint, necessitating hip replacement surgery.

However, shoulder replacement surgery is much less common. But if the osteoarthritis is bad enough, and depending on the patient’s condition and medical history, an artificial shoulder joint may be an option.

If you’re experiencing shoulder pain that won’t go away, yet you still have a full range of motion, you should make an appointment with a physician whose specialties include the shoulder joint.

Many things can lead to persistent shoulder pain.

If the pain is worse when you move the joint in certain positions, or when you try to lift a weight over your head, this indicates a strong possibility of a musculoskeletal origin.

The collar bone may or may not be involved. If the rotator cuff is involved, there will NOT be full range of motion without pain.

Dr. Galland has authored many book chapters and papers in sports medicine. His advice and consultation have been sought by world-class athletes in track and field and Major League Baseball.
Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified by the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained clients of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health.