How to repair deltoid muscle strain

Updated February 21, 2017

The deltoid is the muscle found at the rounded portion of your shoulder. This muscle is made up of three parts. One lifts your arm up in front of you, one lifts your arm sideways, and the other lifts your arm behind you. If this lifting motion is causing you pain, or if you notice that your deltoid muscle is beginning to swell up, you might have strained it. Here are the steps you need to take to repairing your deltoid muscle.

If your pain is significant or persistent, make an appointment with a doctor. If you are an athlete, you might want to make an appointment with a sports injury specialist. Take the following steps until you see your doctor.

Take a mild pain reliever to ease the pain, following the directions on the bottle. Your doctor might prescribe a stronger pain medication later.

Apply ice to the deltoid muscle every few hours for 15 minutes at a time. Wrap the ice in a light cloth so that it doesn't harm your skin. Continue this icing routine for the first 24 hours after you notice the pain.

Apply a heating pad or a warm cloth to the strained deltoid muscle after the 24 hours of icing has passed. Warm the muscle every hour for 15 minutes at a time.

Stretch your deltoid muscle lightly after two days if the pain has not got worse.

If the pain persists, visit your doctor. Explain exactly how you injured yourself and what you have done since to deal with it. Your doctor might tell you to continue icing and heating the muscle while taking a mild pain reliever, or you might need to take further steps if the injury is more serious. These could include a stronger pain reliever, a rehabilitation program with a physical therapist, or possibly surgery if it looks like the muscle is not going to repair itself.


If your deltoid muscle is causing you excruciating pain, visit your doctor or the emergency room immediately. Stay away from strenuous activities until a doctor tells you that you are healthy enough for it.

Things You'll Need

  • Doctor's appointment
  • Pain medicine
  • Ice
  • Light cloth
  • Heating pad


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About the Author

J. Johnson has been completing freelance writing work since September 2009. Her work includes writing website content and small client projects. Johnson holds a degree in English from North Carolina State University.