Subclavius- Functional Anatomy

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

It originates from the 1st rib.

It inserts on the clavicle.

It draws the clavicle inferiory.


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

Subclavius has a few statistically significant anomalies:

  • It may insert on the coracoid process instead of the clavicle or on both.
  • Subclavius posticus is an uncommon muscle that attaches to costal cartilage of the first rib 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.


This site is undergoing changes. Starting in early 2020, we began changing the format of the posts to include more extensive self-care, illustrations, therapist notes, anatomy, and protocols. We’d love your feedback. We are adding posts and converting the old posts as quickly as time permits.


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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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