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Subclavius- Functional Anatomy

Brief Anatomy Overview

The subclavius is a short, thick triangular muscle along the inferior aspect of the clavicle.

Origin – first rib

Insertion – medial clavicle.

Function – lowers clavicle.

Depressors of the shoulder girdle

Attachment Details

The origin is a flat tendon that attaches on the first rib, near the sternal cartilage. It gradually transitions to muscle fibers.

The insertion is a tendon that fits into the subclavian grrove on the medial third of the clavicle.

Details of Function

The subclavius muscle is one of the extrinsic chest muscles that depresses the shoulder girdle and pectoralis minor, costal pectoralis major, abdominal pectoralis major, and the lower sections of serratus anterior.

Anomalies, Etc.

Subclavius has a few statistically significant anomalies:

  • It may insert on the coracoid process instead of the clavicle or both.
  • Subclavius posticus is an uncommon muscle that attaches to the first rib’s costal cartilage and the superior border of the scapula.
  • Sternoclavicularis attaches to the manubrium and the clavicle between the pectoralis major muscle and the coracoclavicular fascia.

Paget-Schroetter syndrome is a specific form of thoracic outlet syndrome where the subclavian artery moves medially until it is restricted by pressure from the subclavius. The arm becomes chronically swollen and bluish. It is more common among athletes that weight lift or play tennis. It’s present in about 15% of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Cases.

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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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