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Deltoid muscle injury treatment

The deltoid is a three-headed muscle situated at the shoulder that lifts the arm away from the body. Deltoid muscle pain caused by inflammation, strain or possibly tearing will progress if left untreated. Seek a physician's advice before you proceed with rehabilitation.

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Symptoms of a deltoid muscle injury include sudden pain at the back of the shoulder or when lifting an extended arm at slight resistance and swelling or tenderness at the muscle.


One essential step in treating a deltoid muscle injury is to stop performing the movement or activity that triggered the injury. Until the muscle is rehabilitated, change your routine or technique.

Self Treatment

Apply an ice pack for 15 minutes at a time for the first 24 hours. If it is not too painful, stretch the back of the shoulder.

Medical Treatment

Sports-injury specialists and doctors speed up recovery using massage techniques. Patients are prescribed a rehabilitation program consisting of stretches, strengthening and massages. If a deltoid injury is serious, doctors may suggest an operation.

Muscular Imbalance

When you concentrate your workout on upper mirror muscles, such as the upper trapezius, anterior deltoid and pectorals, and neglect to develop the 'non-mirror muscles', lower trapezius, rhomboids, latissimus dorsi and rear deltoid, you create a muscular imbalance around the shoulder. Deltoid injuries are prevented and rehabilitated by balancing lower and upper muscles.


Avoid further deltoid muscle injury by balancing your upper-body workout. For every push or press exercise you do, incorporate a pull or a row exercise into the routine.

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About the Author

Aurora LaJambre

Aurora LaJambre is a writer and editor living in Brooklyn, N.Y. For over five years she's covered topics in culture, lifestyle, travel, DIY design and green living for print and online media. Her publication credits include "WOW Women on Writing," "Six States" and Catalogs.com. She graduated from New York University in 2003 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in creative writing.

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