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Self Care – Pain in the Biceps, Maybe Collarbone, Forearm

Self-Care includes
– Activities to avoid and change,
– Strategies for quick relief,
– Stretching for longer-lasting relief,
– Corrective Exercises, Yoga, and more…

This post describes how you can get relief from pain in the biceps that is sometimes felt in the collar bone or forearm. More detail about how patients describe this and activities that aggravate it can be found in this other post.

Activities To Avoid or Change:

Once this trigger point has become irritated, activities that press down will elicit the pattern. Those activities include things like kneading dough, push up to get out of a chair, chiropractic adjustments, or digging holes to plant flowers.

It is even more aggravated, and usually created by the downward motion that has a forceful jerk. This might include digging post holes, playing tennis or kettle bells.

When you get this while you’re working at your desk, change your seated posture to open your chest and get that mouse closer to your torso. Here’s a post on a couple of different approaches to sitting at your desk without creating painful postural mistakes.

For Temporary Relief:

Run a piece of ice under your collar bone and do a few slow and gentle “touchdown” poses. These may be the best touchdown celebrations but you should reach higher than them.

You’d be surprised at how that offers relief.

An IcyHot patch here will bother your eyes.



These self-care activities, like over-the-counter drugs, are not intended to replace appropriate medical attention. If you have concerns about these self-care activities, get help from a professional. Use these suggestions and strategies with discretion and at your own risk. See your doctor when your pain is severe, persistent, or doesn’t respond to these simple suggestions.

Stretches and Exercises for Longer-Lasting Relief:

These doorway stretches with your arms high are easy, convenient and you should stop to do them several times a day.

Most folks want to stretch the biceps muscle, where the pain is. Many of those stretches, like the one in the picture, take that arm up and back, stretching the subclavius at the same time. That will help but doorway stretches offer better balance between the pecs and lengthen several of the muscles that support the shortened subclavius muscle.

If you’re a little more robust:

Bench dips like this are great for opening your chest while strengthening it. Start easy and slow. Focus on the stretch downward so that the elbows eventually get level with the shoulders. The woman in this picture has great form.

Traditional dips, decline presses, and decline flyes are the kind of movements that aggravate this. All those movements flex the chest while lowering the shoulders.


I’d love your feedback on how this works for you
and any suggestions you might have.
Email me at [email protected].

Yoga Corner

an amazing arm balance from yogajournal.com

Arm balances that have your elbows back toward you hips usually aggravate this trigger point and elicit this pattern. Avoiding them would be good.

Poses that pull the clavicle back, like Camel Pose, will elicit the pattern mildly as it stretches the muscle to release it. If it mobilizes the sternoclavicular joint, it may release the trigger point with lasting results.

If this doesn’t resolve with a little self-care, see a professional so that you don’t develop a chronic problem.

Does another Self-Care post
better match your pain?

Here is the post about the trigger point pattern associated with these Self-Care activities.

There may be a post that better matches your pattern in the posts about chest, upper arm, forearm or hand or the posts about patterns that create pain from your torso into your arm.

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Tony Preston has a practice in Atlanta, Georgia, where he sees clients. He has written and taught about anatomy, trigger points, and cranial therapies since the mid-90s.

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*This site is undergoing significant changes. We are reformatting and expanding the posts to make them easier to read. The result will also be more accessible and will include more patterns with better self-care. In the meanwhile, there may be inconsistencies in formatting, content presentation, and readability. Until we get older posts updated, please excuse our mess.