Post Clavicle Fracture Exercises

Doctor putting on sling to patient

Falling headlong over the handlebars of a bicycle or motorbike, or getting roughed up in football, rugby or ice hockey are common causes of clavicle fractures. Appropriate exercises and rehabilitation will help ensure full range of movement and increase the likelihood of regaining full use of your shoulder with minimal residual discomfort. Consult your health care professional before doing new exercises.


The clavicle, commonly known as the collar bone, connects the shoulder to the sternum, or chest bone. The clavicle can fracture in three places, according to in the distal third, the middle third and the medial third. The distal third is the end of the clavicle that connects to the shoulder. The middle third is the middle portion and the most common site for fractures. The medial third connects to the sternum.


For this fracture, a doctor will prescribe immobilization, together with the application of ice to reduce swelling and pain, and anti-inflammatory medication. Your arm should be immobilized in a sling and swath or figure-eight brace after the fracture occurs. Surgery will likely be necessary if the fracture leaves widely separated fragments, if the bone breaks through the skin or if nerve damage occurs. Complicated fractures sometimes necessitate implanting screws, plates or rods into the bone to ensure proper alignment during healing.

Lower Arm Exercises

Initial exercises following a clavicle fracture focus on strength and range of motion movements for your fingers, wrist and elbow. Gripping exercises, wrist curls and elbow flexion and extension can help reduce swelling that occurs in the forearm, wrist, hand and fingers, from wearing a sling. Under your doctor's supervision, use a grip ball, hand gripper or grip master to work your fingers and forearms. And perform wrist curls with a light dumbbell. Because your arm is still in a sling, support your elbow with your other hand as you perform the exercises. Stop if you feel excessive pain or discomfort.

Advanced Exercises

Do range of movement and strengthening exercises for the shoulder as healing progresses and the pain in your shoulder decreases, such as shoulder shrugs, if your doctor approves. To do shoulder shrugs, stand with your arms hanging by your side, and raise your shoulders toward your ears till you feel pain. Do 10 repetitions three times a day. Your doctor may also prescribe pendulum swings. To do these, lean forward and place your good arm on the edge of a table. Let your affected arm hang down in front of you. Keep the arm relaxed and use your body momentum to swing it in a clockwise motion 20 times. Pause and repeat in a counter-clockwise circular motion for 20 more repetitions. Next use your body momentum to swing your arm straight forward and backward 20 times. Perform these movements three times a day.