What is Deltoid Muscle and What is its Function?

The Deltoid Muscle is situated on the outer aspect of the shoulder and can be recognized by the triangle shape that it has. The Deltoid Muscle is made up of three sets of fibers namely the anterior, middle, and posterior. These fibers are connected together by a very thick tendon which is in turn connected to a channel which is located in the humerus bone. The main function of the Deltoid Muscle is to facilitate rotation of the arms and carry objects and move them from one place to another.

The Deltoid Muscle also prevents the humerus bone from dislocating or getting injured when an individual is carrying heavy objects from one place to another. Deltoid Muscle Pain can occur when the Deltoid Muscle gets torn or strained due to excessive strain being put on it. The individual suffering from Deltoid Muscle Pain will also find it difficult to rotate the arm or carry objects with it. Repetitive stress injury is the main cause of Deltoid Muscle Pain. This can be due to lifting and carrying heavy objects, pushing or pulling heavy objects. Athletes involved with discus and shot put can also injure the Deltoid Muscle causing Deltoid Muscle Pain.

Treatment of Deltoid Muscle Pain involves a conservative approach which involves rest, use of antiinflammatory medications, and ice and heat. It usually takes about two weeks for the inflammation in the Deltoid Muscle to calm down and the Deltoid Muscle Pain to resolve.

Signs and Symptoms Associated With Deltoid Muscle Pain

Signs and Symptoms Associated With Deltoid Muscle Pain

Some of the symptoms associated with Deltoid Muscle Pain are:

  • Pain over the tip of the shoulder radiating to the upper arm
  • Weakness of the shoulders
  • Difficulty with lifting objects resulting in pain
  • Difficulty with pushing or pulling objects resulting in pain
  • Reduction of pain when the arm is at rest.

Signs and Symptoms Associated With Deltoid Muscle Pain

What Can Cause Deltoid Muscle Pain?

Activities That Can Cause Deltoid Muscle Pain:

Some of the activities that can cause Deltoid Muscle Pain are:

  • Swimming
  • Skiing
  • Heavy Weightlifting
  • Repetitive throwing
  • Utilizing heavy tools with the hands
  • Carrying children
  • Repetitive typing when the keyboard is a bit too high.

Medical Conditions That Can Cause Deltoid Muscle Pain

Some of the medical conditions that can cause Deltoid Muscle Pain are:

What is the Treatment for Deltoid Muscle Pain?

As stated above, Deltoid Muscle Pain in majority of the cases is treated conservatively following the RICE protocol which is Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. The patient can also be given NSAIDs in the form of Tylenol or ibuprofen for calming down pain and inflammation. Apart from this the following are the main methods of treating Deltoid Muscle Pain:

Cold Therapy to Treat Deltoid Muscle Strain: Utilizing over the counter cooling gel goes a long way in helping with treatment of Deltoid Muscle Pain. This is mostly used in a fresh injury or strain of the deltoid muscle as it immediately cools the area and prevents swelling from developing in the area. Literature has shown that cooling gels heal injuries at a faster rate than normal application of ice and the pain relief is more longer lasting. This gel is used by rubbing it at the injured site.

Warm Therapy to Treat Deltoid Muscle Strain: This type of therapy can also be used for treating Deltoid Muscle Pain. This gel provides adequate warmth to the injured area without actually burning the area. It works fantastically well in relieving pain and stiffness post an injury or strain to the deltoid muscle causing deltoid muscle pain. This gel needs to be put around the area of pain and rubbed throughout the area for best results. It should be noted here that warm therapy should never be used when using ice packs or heat packs as this may result in blistering of the skin

Cold and Warm Shoulder Wrap For Deltoid Muscle Pain: A cold and warm shoulder wrap is also easily available and is quite effective in treating Deltoid Muscle Pain. This wrap provides both cold as well as warm therapy and goes a long way in decreasing inflammation and strain resulting in decreased Deltoid Muscle Pain.

Recovery Period for Deltoid Muscle Pain

Usually Deltoid Muscle Pain takes about a couple of weeks to heal but again it depends on the extent of the injury. If Deltoid Muscle is strained just a little bit then the recovery period for deltoid muscle pain may be a week but for more severe injuries it may take up to three weeks for complete recovery from deltoid muscle pain.

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Written, Edited or Reviewed By:


Last Modified On: September 6, 2016

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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