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Deltoid Origin, Insertion, Action, Innervation

(Last Updated On: August 10, 2018)
Deltoid Origin, Insertion, Action, Innervation

Muscle Anatomy of the Deltoid

Deltoid Anterior

Origin: Anterior border of the lateral third of the clavicle
Insertion: The deltoid tuberosity on the lateral surface of the proximal humeral shaft
Actions: Abduction of the arm at the shoulder
Innervation: Axillary nerve (C5, C6)
Blood Supply: Posterior circumflex humeral artery from the axillary artery and the deltoid artery from the thoraco-acromial artery.

Primary Actions of the Deltoid Anterior

1.  Flexion of the arm at the shoulder

  Agonists:

  • Biceps brachiior
  • Cacobrachialis
  • Pectoralis major (clavicular head)

  Antagonists:

  • Deltoid (posterior part)
  • Triceps brachii (long head)
  • Latissimus dorsi
  • Pectoralis major (sternal head)
  • Teres major

Deltoid Middle

Origin: Lateral border of the acromion process of the scapula
Insertion: The deltoid tuberosity on the lateral surface of the proximal humeral shaft
Actions: Abduction of the arm at the shoulder
Innervation: Axillary nerve (C5, C6)
Blood Supply: Posterior circumflex humeral artery from the axillary artery and the deltoid artery from the thoraco-acromial artery.

Primary Actions of the Deltoid Middle

1.  Abduction of the arm at the shoulder

  Agonists:

  • Deltoid (anterior and posterior)
  • Supraspinatus

  Antagonists:

  • Latissimus dorsi
  • Pectoralis major
  • Teres major
  • Triceps brachii (long head)

Deltoid Posterior

Origin: Inferior edge of the scapular spine
Insertion: The deltoid tuberosity on the lateral surface of the proximal humeral shaft
Actions: Extension of the arm at the shoulder
Innervation: Axillary nerve (C5, C6)
Blood Supply: Posterior circumflex humeral artery from the axillary artery and the deltoid artery from the thoraco-acromial artery.

Primary Actions of the Deltoid Posterior:

1. Extension of the arm at the shoulder

  Agonists:

  • Triceps brachii (long head)
  • Latissimus dorsi
  • Pectoralis major (sternal head)
  • Teres major

  Antagonists: 

  • Deltoid (anterior part)
  • Biceps brachii
  • Coracobrachialis
  • Pectoralis major (clavicular head)

Secondary Actions of the Deltoid Posterior:

1. Assists with external rotation of the arm at the shoulder

  Agonists:

  • Infraspinatus
  • Teres minor

  Antagonists: 

  • Deltoid (anterior part)
  • Teres major
  • Latissimus dorsi
  • Pectoralis major
  • Subscapularis

Information about cause and effect of Deltoid pain:

Deltoid muscles shoulder pain and weakness

Recommended Anatomy Books:

Anatomy Coloring Book

The Anatomy Coloring Book is one of the best study and reference books for beginning anatomy students. The diagrams are clearly labeled and allow you to see the relationship and placement of the various structures of the body. You will also be surprised how the act of coloring will help with recall. But this is not just a beginners book, it is also great for practitioners and therapists to have on hand to use with clients and patients to use as a visual reference.

Human Muscle Anatomy

The Trail Guide To The Body is another excellent book to help you learn the musculature of the human body. Though the book is geared toward massage therapists and physical therapist assistants, the book with its illustrations and text helps anyone gain a thorough understanding of the human musculoskeletal system and movement. I highly recommend this book for anyone studying anatomy and believe that MTs, PTAs, and teachers of body movements should have this book in their possession. I also highly recommend this book for the lay person who wants to gain understanding of the muscle, skeletal system and how our bodies move. This book will not disappoint!

Basic Clinical Massage Therapy

Out of the scores of books in my office Basic Clinical Massage Therapy is by far the most referenced book in my library. The musculoskeletal system is overlaid on human models allowing you to learn the precise location, origin and insertions of each muscle. The models are pictured in various poses throughout the book which also helps you visualize muscles in motion and their actions relationship with the skeletal structure and other muscles. Though it is written for massage therapists, it is an excellent book for anyone who wants to learn about the muscular system. MT's will benefit from recommended treatments for each muscle.

Muscle Anatomy Flashcards

Musculoskeletal Anatomy Flashcards Are you a student or professional therapist who needs to brush up on the musculoskeletal system? Dr. Joseph E. Muscolino DC has developed a comprehensive set of flashcards that will help develop a mind's picture of exactly where the muscles lie under the skin. A highly recommended study aid for students. Great for non students who want an easy comprehensive anatomy guide.

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