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Dr. Chloe Baker - Jul 14, 2023 - 7 min read - 1k Likes

Why Does My Collarbone Stick Out? Discover the Causes and Solutions

Have you ever looked at your shoulder and top ribcage and wondered why does my collarbone stick out? The protrusion of the collarbone is a common concern for many individuals, and it can be caused by various factors. In this article, we will explore the causes of collarbone protrusion and offer solutions to improve its appearance.

Firstly, let’s clarify that some collarbone protrusion is entirely normal. However, some individuals may notice that one collarbone sticks out more than the other or that their collarbones appear more prominently than normal. In this section, we will introduce the topic of collarbones sticking out and highlight the main causes. We will also touch upon the concern of collarbones sticking out too much and how it relates to the shoulder area. So, keep reading to learn more about why your collarbone sticks out and what you can do about it!

Understanding the Anatomy of the Collarbone

Anatomy of the Collarbone

The collarbone, also known as the clavicle, is a long bone that connects the breastbone (sternum) to the shoulder blade (scapula). It plays an essential role in stabilizing the shoulder joint and allows for a wide range of arm movements.

The collarbone’s shape and size can vary among individuals, depending on their age, gender, and muscular development. In most cases, it sticks out slightly from the top of the shoulder, which is entirely normal.

However, some people may notice that one of their collarbones stick out more than the other, commonly on the left side. This can happen due to a range of factors, including genetics, injury, or muscle development.

Factors That Influence Collarbone Shape and Protrusion

The collarbone’s prominence can be influenced by several factors, including:

  • Genetics: inherited traits can determine the shape and size of the collarbone.
  • Injury: a broken or dislocated collarbone can cause misalignment and protrusion.
  • Muscle development: well-developed muscles around the collarbone area can make it more visible.
  • Posture: poor posture, like slouching or hunching forward, can exaggerate the appearance of a sticking-out collarbone.

Therefore, it is entirely natural for one collarbone to be more prominent than the other. However, if you notice a sudden change in your collarbone’s appearance or experience pain, it is recommended that you seek medical advice.

Genetics and Collarbone Shape

The shape and prominence of your collarbones can be determined by genetics. Inherited factors, such as bone structure and muscle attachments, play a role in collarbone appearance. It is not uncommon for one collarbone to stick out more than the other due to genetic variation.

If you have concerns about the appearance of your collarbones, it is important to remember that genetics cannot always be altered. However, there are still steps you can take to improve their overall appearance and reduce any discomfort.

What Causes One Collarbone to Stick Out More Than the Other?

As previously mentioned, genetic variation can be a factor in one collarbone sticking out more than the other. Other factors, such as muscle development and any injuries or misalignments, can also contribute to an uneven appearance. Consulting with a medical professional or physical therapist can help determine the cause of any noticeable differences in collarbone shape.

Can Collarbone Shape Change Over Time?

While genetics can play a significant role in determining collarbone shape, there are also other factors that can contribute to changes over time. For example, poor posture may lead to increased protrusion of the collarbone, while exercises that target the shoulder and chest muscles can help improve overall alignment and appearance.

Tip: If you are concerned about the appearance of your collarbones, consider incorporating exercises that target the shoulder and chest muscles into your workout routine. This can help strengthen the supporting muscles and improve overall alignment and appearance.

Posture and Collarbone Protrusion

poor posture

One of the main factors contributing to collarbone protrusion is poor posture. When we slouch or hunch forward, it creates a rounded shoulder position that tends to draw the collarbone outward. As a result, the bone becomes more prominent and may stick out more than usual, causing discomfort or self-consciousness.

To avoid this, it’s important to maintain good posture throughout the day. This means keeping your shoulders back and down, your chest lifted, and your spine in a neutral position. You can practice this by standing against a wall and making sure your head, shoulders, and hips are touching it. Then, gently pull your shoulder blades back and down.

It’s also helpful to take breaks throughout the day to stretch and move around. Sitting for long periods can cause our muscles to become tight and restricted, exacerbating poor posture. Try taking a short walk or doing some gentle yoga poses to loosen up and realign your body.

Exercises to Improve Posture

If you’re struggling with poor posture and collarbone protrusion, incorporating targeted exercises into your routine can be beneficial. These exercises can help strengthen the muscles in your neck, back, and shoulders, which can improve your overall posture and reduce the appearance of a sticking-out collarbone.

Here are a few exercises to try:

Exercise Instructions
Shoulder blade squeeze Sit or stand with your arms by your sides. Gently squeeze your shoulder blades together, then release. Repeat for 10-15 reps.
Wall angels Stand with your back against a wall and your arms bent at 90-degree angles. Slowly raise your arms up the wall, then lower them back down. Repeat for 10-15 reps.
Posture check-ins Set a timer on your phone or computer to remind you to check in with your posture every hour. Take a few deep breaths and adjust your alignment as needed.

Remember that consistency is key when it comes to improving posture. Try to incorporate these exercises into your daily routine and make a conscious effort to sit and stand up straight.

Injury and Collarbone Alignment

collarbone fracture

Collarbone injuries can cause misalignment and protrusion of the bone. The most common collarbone injury is a fracture, which can occur from a fall, a direct blow to the shoulder, or a car accident.

When a collarbone fracture occurs, the bone can shift out of place and cause the shoulder to look uneven. In some cases, a bump or lump may be visible where the fracture occurred.

Treatment for a collarbone fracture typically involves immobilizing the shoulder with a sling or brace to allow the bone to heal. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to realign the bone and stabilize it with plates or screws.

Other injuries, such as dislocations or ligament tears, can also affect collarbone alignment and cause protrusion. These injuries may require physical therapy or surgery to address.

Prevention Tips

Preventing collarbone injuries can help maintain proper alignment and reduce the risk of protrusion. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Wear protective gear when participating in sports or activities that could cause injury to the collarbone.
  • Avoid falls by staying aware of your surroundings and wearing appropriate footwear.
  • Practice good posture to prevent excessive strain on the collarbone and shoulder area.
  • Stretch regularly to maintain flexibility and prevent muscle imbalances that could contribute to injury.

“If you have experienced an injury to the collarbone, it’s important to seek medical attention promptly to prevent further damage and promote proper healing.”

Muscle Development and Collarbone Visibility

The visibility of your collarbone can be influenced by the development of the muscles around it. These muscles, known as the sternocleidomastoid and the trapezius, can cover the collarbone and make it less prominent.

However, if these muscles are not well-developed, it can make the collarbone more visible. This is commonly seen in individuals with a lean or athletic build.

Exercises to strengthen the muscles around the collarbone can help reduce the visibility of the bone. These exercises may include push-ups, pull-ups, and shoulder presses.

It’s important to note that these exercises may not necessarily make the collarbone disappear entirely, but they can help improve its appearance.

Solutions for Collarbone Protrusion

If you’re one of the many people who feel self-conscious about their sticking-out collarbone, you’ll be pleased to know that there are several strategies you can employ to address the issue. From improving your posture to building muscle strength, here are our top tips for reducing collarbone protrusion.

1. Correct Your Posture

One of the most effective ways to minimize the appearance of a protruding collarbone is to correct your posture. Slouching or hunching forward can make the bone more prominent, so try to sit up straight and hold your shoulders back when standing or sitting. You might also want to consider exercises that target your back and shoulders, such as pull-ups or rows.

2. Strengthen Your Muscles

The muscles in your chest and shoulders play a big role in collarbone alignment and appearance. Strengthening these muscles can help to pull the collarbone back into a more natural position. Some effective exercises include chest presses, shoulder presses, and push-ups. Just be sure to work with a qualified personal trainer or physiotherapist to ensure you’re using proper form.

3. Consider Medical Treatment

If your collarbone protrusion is causing you pain or discomfort, or if it’s the result of an injury, you may want to consider medical treatment. In some cases, surgery may be required to realign the bone and address any underlying issues. Be sure to consult with a qualified healthcare provider to discuss your options.

While it can be frustrating to deal with a sticking-out collarbone, there are many strategies you can employ to address the issue. By correcting your posture, building muscle strength, and seeking medical treatment when necessary, you can enjoy a more confident and comfortable appearance.

Exercises to Improve Collarbone Appearance

Improving your collarbone appearance through exercise is possible, but it requires consistent effort. The exercises listed below target the muscles around the collarbone area, which can help to make the bone less prominent. Remember to start slowly and gradually increase reps and sets as your strength and endurance improve.

1. Push-Ups

Push-ups are a great exercise for building upper body strength, including the muscles around the collarbone area. Here’s how to do a push-up:

  1. Begin in a plank position with your hands slightly wider than your shoulders.
  2. Lower your body towards the floor, keeping your elbows close to your body.
  3. Push back up to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for 3 sets of 10 reps.

2. Dumbbell Flyes

Dumbbell flyes target the chest muscles, which can help to balance out the appearance of a protruding collarbone. Here’s how to perform this exercise:

  1. Lie flat on your back on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Extend your arms above your chest with your palms facing each other.
  3. Slowly lower your arms to the sides until they are parallel to the ground.
  4. Return to the starting position and repeat for 3 sets of 10 reps.

3. Shoulder Shrugs

Shoulder shrugs focus on the trapezius muscle, which runs from the base of the skull down to the middle of the back and across the shoulder blades. Strengthening this muscle can help to improve posture and reduce the appearance of a sticking-out collarbone. Here’s how to do a shoulder shrug:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides.
  2. Slowly raise your shoulders towards your ears, keeping your arms straight.
  3. Hold for a few seconds before relaxing your shoulders back down.
  4. Repeat for 3 sets of 10 reps.

Remember that exercise alone is unlikely to completely correct a protruding collarbone. It’s important to also focus on improving your posture and considering lifestyle changes to avoid exacerbating the issue.

Lifestyle Changes for Collarbone Alignment

If you’re concerned about your collarbone protrusion, there are several lifestyle changes you can make to help improve its alignment. Here are some tips:

1. Maintain Good Posture

One of the most effective ways to reduce collarbone protrusion is to maintain good posture. Make sure to sit up straight, keep your shoulders back and down, and avoid slouching or hunching forward. Consider using a lumbar support pillow to help maintain good posture while sitting for long periods.

2. Sleep on Your Back

Sleeping on your back can help promote collarbone alignment by keeping your shoulders in a neutral position. Try using a supportive pillow that keeps your neck in line with your spine.

3. Stretch Regularly

Stretching can help improve flexibility and reduce muscle tension around the collarbone area. Consider incorporating shoulder stretches and chest openers into your daily routine.

4. Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise can help strengthen your muscles, improve your posture, and promote overall body alignment. Incorporate exercises that target the muscles around your collarbone, such as push-ups, planks, and shoulder presses.

5. Adjust Your Workspace

If you work at a desk, make sure your workspace is set up ergonomically. Adjust your chair and monitor height to ensure that your shoulders are relaxed and your neck is in a neutral position.

6. Wear Supportive Clothing

Wearing supportive clothing, such as a sports bra or compression shirt, can help keep your shoulders in a neutral position and promote collarbone alignment.

By making these lifestyle changes, you can help improve the appearance and alignment of your collarbone.

Solutions for Collarbone Protrusion

If you’re concerned about the appearance of your sticking-out collarbone, there are several practical solutions you can try.

Improve Your Posture

Poor posture can cause your collarbone to protrude even more. Practicing good posture can help align your bones, relieve pressure on your joints, and improve overall appearance. Try sitting and standing up straight, keeping your shoulders pulled back and down, and avoiding slouching or hunching forward.

Strengthen Your Muscles

Developing the muscles around your collarbone area can help reduce the visibility of your protruding bone. Try exercises like push-ups, weightlifting, and yoga to increase muscle mass and promote better alignment.

Seek Medical Advice

If your collarbone protrusion is causing pain or discomfort, it’s always a good idea to seek medical advice. Your doctor may recommend physical therapy, medications, or other treatments to alleviate your symptoms.

Remember, the appearance of a sticking-out collarbone is not always a cause for concern. However, if you’re bothered by the way it looks, there are several steps you can take to improve your appearance and feel more confident.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

FAQ 1: Can poor posture cause a sticking-out collarbone?

Yes, poor posture can contribute to a protruding collarbone. Slouching or hunching forward can cause the shoulders to roll forward, making the collarbone more prominent.

FAQ 2: Is a protruding collarbone a cause for concern?

In most cases, a protruding collarbone is not a cause for concern and is primarily an aesthetic issue. However, if you experience pain, discomfort, or suspect an underlying bone abnormality, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional.

FAQ 3: Can exercise help reduce the visibility of a sticking-out collarbone?

Yes, targeted exercises and physical therapy can help strengthen the muscles surrounding the collarbone, improve posture, and reduce the visibility of a protruding collarbone.

FAQ 4: Are there any non-surgical treatments for a protruding collarbone?

Yes, non-surgical treatments such as posture correction, exercises, weight management, and supportive garments can be effective in addressing a sticking-out collarbone.

FAQ 5: What should I do if I suspect an underlying bone abnormality causing my protruding collarbone?

If you suspect an underlying bone abnormality, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional. They can conduct a thorough evaluation, including imaging tests if necessary, to diagnose and address the issue.

FAQ 6: Can I improve the appearance of my collarbone through weight loss?

Weight loss can potentially reduce the visibility of a protruding collarbone, especially if excess weight or body fat is contributing to the prominence. However, it’s crucial to pursue weight loss in a healthy and sustainable manner under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

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Dr. Chloe Baker - Author

I am Dr. Chloe Baker, an accomplished Orthopedic Oncologist dedicated to the specialized field of bone tumor diagnosis and treatment. With a profound commitment to patient care and a comprehensive understanding of musculoskeletal oncology, I bring 9 Years of experience in managing both benign and malignant bone tumors.

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