Deltoid Muscle Strain





The deltoid muscle strain is situated at the big muscle on the shoulder. It has three parts – the front (anterior), middle and back (posterior). The muscle lifts the arm up sideways. The front part helps to lift the arm up forwards (flexion) and the back part helps to lift the arm up backwards (extension)


  • Prolonged overuse of the deltoid muscle-tendon unit.
  • Single violent injury or force applied to the collarbone area.

deltoid muscle strain






  • A sudden pain in the muscle at the back of the shoulder.
  • Pain when lifting arms from the side out backwards against resistance, keeping it straight (extension).
  •  Pain when lifting the arm from the side up sideways against resistance (abduction).
  • Tenderness and swelling where the muscle is torn.

Grade 1:

  • Tightness in the muscle.
  • The athlete may be able to use arms normally and do press ups.
  • Probably won’t have much swelling.
  • Trying to lift the arm up sideways or to the front or back of the body probably won’t produce a lot of pain.


Calcification of the muscle or tendon (visible with X-rays)


As first aid, use instructions for R.I.C.E., the first letters of REST, ICE, COMPRESSION and ELEVATION.

  • Use ice massage 3 or 4 times a day for 15 minutes at a time. Fill a large Styrofoam cup with water and freeze. Tear a small amount of foam from the top so ice protrudes. Massage firmly over the injured area in a circle about the size of a softball.
  • Electrotherapy treatment for pain relief
  • Reduce stiffness and spasm
  • After the first 24 hours, apply heat instead of ice, if it feels better. Use heat lamps, hot soaks, hot showers, heating pads, or heat liniments and ointments.
  • Massage gently and often to provide comfort and decrease swelling.
  • Strengthening of the muscle
  • Sports specific training


For minor discomfort, you may use: Aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Topical liniments and ointments. Injection of a long-acting local anesthetic to reduce pain. Injections of corticosteroids, such as triamcinolone, to reduce inflammation.

Visit Physioline for the Consultation and treatment