When you feel a lump on your collarbone, it can cause you to panic. After all, you should not normally have lumps on your collarbone. While it may make you want to panic, it might not be anything that you have to worry about. In many cases, a lump on the collarbone is just a benign neoplasm. In some cases though, it can be a tumor-like lesion or a malignant neoplasm. To find out what is actually causing the lump, it is important to go to your doctor for professional care and treatment.
Medical Conditions That Can Cause a Lump on Collarbone
There are many potential medical conditions that can cause you to have a lump on your collarbone. Sometimes, it is just a sign of an infection that will heal on its own. If you have the lump longer than three or four weeks, then you should make sure to go to your doctor to be checked out. While it may be may nothing, it is important to get checked out by your doctor just to make sure.
This condition is a type of malignant mesenchymal tumor. Often, you will not have any other symptoms than a bump. Initially, it will just be a bone-like bump. Over time, it may start to cause swelling and pain. These symptoms can limit your ability to move without feeling pain. Other symptoms associated with this condition include thigh pain, bladder symptoms, sciatica, back pain and unilateral edema.
2. Swelling From Lifting
When you lift, push or pull something that is especially heavy, it can put strain on your body. This could be the reason why you developed a lump on your collarbone. If so, you can reduce the swelling using over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication. You can also apply a warm compress for 10 to 20 minutes to help reduce the swelling. If the pain increases over time or the swelling does not go away, go to your doctor.
3. Vascular Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
This syndrome happens when the veins and arteries beneath your collarbone are compressed. As a result, you may develop a lump under or on your collarbone. When you have this syndrome, you may have a blood clot in the veins and arteries in the upper portion of your body. Your hands and arms may become discolored or have pain and swelling. You may experience weakness or a lack of pulse in the affected arm. Your arms or fingers may feel cold. If you do any physical activity, you may experience arm fatigue afterward.
4. Aneurysmal Bone Cyst
This type of cyst develops on the collarbone and feels like a hard lump. The cyst may be an osteolytic bone neoplasm or it may be filled with blood or serum. These cysts can also occur on your legs, pelvis, upper arms and spine. When you have this condition, it may decrease your range of movement. You may experience symptoms like stiffness in the affected body part, pain and continued swelling.
Your lymph system is the key component in your immune system. When you develop cancer in your lymph system, it is known as lymphoma. It could be types like non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Often, the first symptom is painless swellings in the lymph nodes in your neck, armpits or groin. Other symptoms of lymphoma include unexplained weight loss, fatigue, persistent weakness, trouble breathing, night sweats, chest pain, swelling in the abdomen, fever and pain in the abdomen.
Fibromyalgia is a disorder that can cause bumps and lumps under your skin as well as severe pain. These little bumps are generally non-cancerous and are known as lipomas. Treatment for the lumps is generally not necessary unless they keep growing or are especially painful. Other symptoms of fibromyalgia include depression, widespread pain, headaches, fatigue, pain in the lower abdomen and cognitive problems.
7. Breast Cancer
While this is a less common reason for a lump on collarbone, it is a potential cause. Breast cancer may start in the breasts, but it can spread to the lymph nodes as well. This can cause swelling and lumps to develop. During the initial stages of breast cancer, many people do not exhibit any major symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms include nipple discharge, skin thickening, lumps in the breasts, breast itching, nipple changes and pain.
8. Clavicle Fracture
This is one of the more common reasons for a lump on collarbone. The clavicle is a long bone that can become broken or fractured in the middle or where it attaches to the shoulder blade and rib cage. If you had a direct blow to your shoulder, it could have caused a fracture. Other than a lump on the collarbone, you may also experience symptoms like tenderness, swelling, stiffness in the shoulder and bruising. If you try to move your shoulder, you may experience pain or a crackling sound.
Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can both cause a hard lump to develop on your collarbone. These lumps are often close to the joint that is affected. They can be as big or small as a walnut or pea. With rheumatoid arthritis, you may experience symptoms like bone spurs, stiffness, pain, tenderness, loss of flexibility or a grating sensation. Rheumatoid arthritis can cause symptoms like tenderness, weight loss, fatigue, fever, warmth and swollen joints. There are treatments that can alleviate your symptoms, so make sure to go to your doctor to be diagnosed and treated properly.