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Deltoid Muscle: Shoulder Pain and Weakness

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The deltoid muscle can contribute to shoulder pain and weakness.

What are the pain and symptoms associated with the deltoid muscle?

  • Pain over the tip of the shoulder going down the upper arm
  • Shoulder weakness
  • Pain in the shoulder area when lifting
  • Pain in the shoulder area when holding objects up and in front of the body
  • Pain decreases when arm and shoulder are at rest

Where is the deltoid muscle?

The deltoid muscle is the muscle that covers the tip shoulder. The deltoid muscle is made up of three parts, anterior, middle and posterior. The deltoid connects the shoulder, shoulder blade (scapula) and collarbone (clavicle) to the upper arm (humerus).

What movements do the deltoid muscle control?

  • Raises the arm to the front of the body (anterior deltoid)
  • Raises the arm out to the side of the body (anterior deltoid)
  • Twists arm in toward the body
  • Moves arm across the front of the body (anterior deltoid)
  • Brings arm down to the body from overhead position (posterior deltoid)
  • Pulls arm behind the body (posterior deltoid)
  • Twists arm away from the body (posterior deltoid)

Activities that cause deltoid pain and symptoms:

  • Swimming
  • Skiing
  • Weight-lifting
  • Throwing a ball; baseball, softball, football
  • Holding heavy tools up
  • Picking up and carrying children
  • Typing when the keyboard is set up too high
  • Injection given in the arm
Deltoid Origin, Insertion, Action, Innervation

You use the deltoid muscle to raise your arm, move your arm away from your body and twist your arm.

Interesting facts about the deltoid muscle:

  • Pain around the shoulder area caused by the deltoids muscles will subside when resting. If the pain in the deltoid area is continuous even at rest, chances are the source of the pain is being caused by other muscles in the neck, shoulder, upper back, and/or chest.
  • If you have been diagnosed with bursitis of the shoulder and treatment is not reducing pain it could be trigger points in the deltoid muscle.

Clinical diagnoses to which the deltoid muscle symptoms may contribute:

  • Rotator cuff injury
  • Bicipital tendinitis
  • Subdeltoid bursitis
  • Glenohumeral joint arthritis
  • Glenohumeral separation
  • Impingement syndrome
  • Shoulder pointer
  • C5 C6  radiculopathy

Other muscles that should be considered and examined in conjunction with the deltoid muscle:

Satellite trigger points associated with the deltoid muscle:

  • Pectoralis major
  • Biceps brachii
  • Triceps brachii
  • Latissimus dorsi
  • Teres major
  • Infraspinatus
  • Supraspinatus

For detailed anatomy information:  
Deltoid Anatomy

TWD Recommendations For Deltoid Muscle Pain

Cold Therapy Gel For Deltoid and Shoulder Injury Pain

Biofreeze Pain Relieving Gel is an excellent pain relieving gel that I use on clients who have sudden onset muscle pain or recent injuries. Biofreeze works like ice and does not promote swelling. A recent study showed that Biofreeze decreased pain 2 times more than ice and the pain relief lasts 9 – 10 longer. It is great as a maintenance treatment for overuse and repetitive use injuries. Cold therapy should be used instead of heat on new injuries to help reduce inflammation. To help with pain from the deltoid muscle, rub Biofreeze around the shoulder and the upper arm. Biofreeze also works great to reduce and eliminate pain from arm muscle injections.

Ice Wrap For Shoulder Injury, Deltoid Muscle Pain

Pro-Ice Shoulder and Elbow Cold Therapy Wrap is great for shoulder injuries and pain involving the deltoids. The wrap not only provides cold therapy for the shoulder but it also extends down the arm providing relieve for upper arm and elbow pain. This should be in the freezer of every ball player for quick treatment of overuse injuries and preventative maintenance.

Warm Therapy Gel For Chronic Shoulder

Sombra Warm Therapy Pain Relieving Gel is a warming gel that I use every day not only on myself but also on clients. It provides warmth without burning and is better at relieving pain than other over the counter pain creams.For arthritic or chronic shoulder pain relieve rub Sombra all around the shoulder, upper back and upper arm. Sombra can be applied several times a day to provide warmth and pain relief.

Hot and Cold Shoulder and Upper Arm Therapy Wrap

Elasto-Gel Hot Cold Wrap works well for those who need a wrap that provides both heat and cold therapy. This is a great wrap for people suffering from shoulder arthritis pain. Heat and cold can both help relieve symptoms of deltoid strain, frozen shoulder and rotator cuff muscle pain. The wrap is gel which allows it to mold to the chest, shoulder, and upper arm comfortably.

Available in two sizes: Small Hot Cold Shoulder Wrap and Large / XLarge Hot Cold Shoulder Wrap

Self Treatment For Shoulder Pain Caused By The Deltoid Muscle

Do you know that small knots and other dysfunction in the deltoid muscle can cause pain and weakness throughout the shoulder area?

If you are suffering from unresolved shoulder pain and weakness consider Claire Davies The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief. Mr. Davies explains the trigger point phenomenon and muscle pain in everyday language. But what makes this book worth its weight in gold are the individual muscle trigger point treatments that Davies has compiled. His diagrams and step by step instructions help you locate which muscles are contributing to your pain, how to find the trigger point and treat it. It takes time and practice to master finding trigger points, but once you learn you have a tool and method to help relieve muscle pain throughout the body. If you suffer from shoulder pain and weakness I highly recommend this book. Relieving trigger points in the deltoid muscles have helped many people resolve shoulder issues. This book is a must-have for anyone interested in finding the cause and treating muscle pain.

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