Relieving Stress In the Subclavicus To Help Reduce Risk Of Swimmer’s Shoulder

By Dr. G. John Mullen

SANTA CLARA, California, October 9. I’ve written extensively about the shoulder and shoulder injuries previously. For more reading on the shoulder, consider reading the following posts:

Most of these posts discuss “swimmer’s shoulder,” the most common injury at the shoulder for swimmers. However, other injuries occur, like acromioclavicular (AC) injuries. During AC injuries, the subclavius muscle is overused, trying to limit motion at the AC joint. The subclavius simply means under (sub) the clavicle (collar bone).

Luckily, simple self manual techniques can alleviate an overactive subclavius muscle, improving its strength and helping protect the shoulder from excessive stress. Here’s a self-myofascial release procedure to help relieve the stress:


With your thumb, apply a vertical and posterior force directly under the collar bone (clavicle). Move the thumb slowly on this muscle, across the entire clavicle. If tender, move slower, sometimes stopping on extremely tender areas. Perform this exercise for 2 – 3 minutes.