The deltoid actually includes three parts that make up a big shoulder muscle. It provides the arm with a wide range of motion so is important for people’s day-to-day lives. Like other muscles, you might experience pain due to sports like tennis, weightlifting, and swimming. It’s also a common injury in the workplace due to actions like heavy lifting. This can result in different symptoms besides the deltoid pain. The most common shoulder injury is sprains/strains (37%). The deltoid is an important muscle so it’s important to deal with any injuries as effectively as possible. This will put you on the road to recovery.
In order to deal with deltoid injuries, it’s important to know the location of the muscle. Injuries can cause various symptoms like pain, swelling, and bruising. If you experience such symptoms you should get it checked out immediately. The deltoid can involve various grades in terms of how severe the injury is. The type of treatment is based on the kind of injury you have. Sometimes treatments like ice/heat packs are enough to deal with an injury. In other cases, you’ll need other treatments like painkillers and rehabilitation. It all starts with your doctor diagnosing a deltoid injury instead of other muscles.
What Is the Deltoid Muscle?
This muscle is rounded and triangle-shaped. It’s located on the upper arm/shoulder. The name “Deltoid” is named after a Greek letter: delta. The letter is also shaped like a triangle with equal sides. When this muscle contracts this allows the arm and shoulder to move in a wide range of motion.
Weightlifters often target the deltoids by doing exercises like shoulder presses. This helps to strengthen and develop the three parts of the shoulder. The deltoid is very visible when the shoulder/upper arm are well-developed. The muscle is made up of three heads. This helps the muscles form the Delta letter: Δ.
The main function of the deltoid is to cause the shoulder muscle to pull away. The muscle also does a lot of the work when a person rotates their shoulder. It helps to guide and stabilize this movement.
One common use of this muscle is when people swing their arms as they walk. The deltoids are important for causing the swinging motion.
People can have different problems with the deltoid muscle. For example, people might strain the shoulder muscle by lifting too much weight or over-extending it. This can cause various problems including muscle pain and reducing the shoulder’s range of motion.
It’s important to determine the exact cause of the injury. Sometimes when the muscle is damaged it can also cause damage to a nerve that helps to move the muscles. In fact, the deltoid muscle might not function properly due to damage to this nerve and/or the muscle.
This can result in sprains, strains, and other types of injuries. Some injuries to this muscle are minor and heal quickly. Since there are three parts to the muscle it’s important to find out which part(s) have been injured. This will make it easier to pick an effective treatment to speed up recovery.
Symptoms of Deltoid Injuries
When you experience deltoid injuries, you can have a wide range of symptoms. Some of the most common ones are pain or tenderness. This often happens when a person lifts their arm. It can also appear in the front, back, or side part of the shoulder.
If the deltoid muscle is torn it can result in various symptoms. They include bruising and swelling. In this case, it’s important to treat the shoulder and rest so it has time to heal.
When you strain the deltoid muscle it receives a grade of 1, 2, or 3:
This is a mild strain and results in feelings of stiffness and a little swelling. The patient usually has full range of motion but there might be a little pain.
This usually includes symptoms like swelling and pain. The person also usually has limited movement. Pain might be caused by different movements like bench/shoulder presses, push-ups or lifting the arm regardless of the direction.
This is a serious injury that can cause a high level of pain and swelling. There is also often a muscle gap/bulge. The pain can make it very difficult or impossible to move the arm. The range of motion might also be very limited.
If you have a shoulder injury it’s important to get a check-up from your doctor. He/She can do an examination to determine what kind of injury you have. This could include a sprain of grade 1, 2, or 3. It might also be another type of injury.
The diagnosis process is important. For example, different treatments ranging from compresses to therapy might be ordered based on how serious a sprain is. Other treatments might be required for different injuries. The key is to get the treatment you need to deal with the injury. This will help to speed up recovery and prevent further injury.
Treatments for Deltoid Pain
After you suffer a deltoid injury it’s important to get the right treatment based on the type and seriousness of the injury.
For example, if you over-use the deltoid and have a mild injury your doctor might recommend you change your workouts to deal with the injury. This can help to prevent it from getting worse. If you play sports you might have to stop practicing for a while until the injury heals.
If the pain is more serious your doctor might require you to take over-the-counter (OTC) medicines. This is to help reduce discomfort, swelling, and inflammation.
In the case of a strain your doctor might order the following treatments based on how serious the pain is:
You can add a compression wrap and ice to the injury now and then for 24 hours following the injury. A heating pad can help to reduce pain/tension. It’s also important for you to rest the shoulder.
You can reduce swelling by applying ice now and then for 3-5 days after the injury. You can also alternate ice/heat packs to help reduce pain. Reduce workout sessions’ intensity/length.
After this type of injury you should add ice to the injured shoulder. If you can then elevate it and avoid using the arm/shoulder if possible. You can reduce the pain/discomfort with OTC painkillers.
If these DIY remedies don’t work then it’s important to contact a doctor or rehab specialist. They can provide other treatments to reduce pain and speed up your recovery.
You can also take steps to help prevent deltoid injuries. Make sure to do stretching, warm-ups, and cool-downs. When doing stretching make sure the deltoid muscle is included.
You should also take rest days between workouts so muscles can rest and recover. Sports massages can also help to reduce muscle tension and prevent deltoid pain.