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Deltoid Injury and Treatment



Deltoid Injury

One of the most common and most uncomfortable injuries is the deltoid injury. Many athletes injure their deltoids by straining them. If the damage is painful enough, the athlete might have to rest the shoulder, which means time away from competition and practice.

Deltoid Muscle

The deltoid muscle has three parts, the front, middle, and back. The deltoid muscle is used to lift the arm away from the side of the body and moving the arm out in front of the body. It is the muscle that is used when a baseball pitcher throws the ball to the batter.  This active muscle plays a vital role in practically every athletic activity.

The most common deltoid injury is a strain. This is the name of the trauma that happens to muscles. A sprain is what occurs when ligaments are injured; therefore, the deltoid cannot be sprained.

Complex Shoulder Anatomy

Because the shoulder joint is very complex, with many different types of tissues doing many different jobs, there are a variety of various shoulder injuries that might seem like deltoid strains. Some more severe shoulder injuries include shoulder fractures and dislocations, rotator cuff injuries, and more. Some other injuries in the area include biceps tendon injuries, as well as injuries to the AC joint and the glenoid labrum. Most athletic trainers, sports medicine doctors, orthopedics, and physical therapists can help identify the type of injury. Some shoulder injuries can be treated with rest, ice, compression, and elevation, while some require surgery.

Common Shoulder Injuries

Shoulder injuries, like a deltoid injury, happen when the shoulder is overused. This is one of the reasons why baseball pitchers cannot pitch day after day. The deltoid does require rest, especially since it is an extremely active muscle. The deltoid can also be injured if it is forced into unnatural positions, like an eccentric contraction. Trauma to the shoulder can also cause injury to the deltoid.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Doctors often use palpitation to diagnose the problem and investigate the severity. When the doctor presses into the muscle, the patient will experience pain in the belly of the deltoid muscle if there is a strain. Doctors might even be able to feel tears in the tissue if the injury is that bad. Doctors also use motion tests to determine what the range of motion is after having the damage. Physicians may ask for strength testing, too. Often, people with deltoid injuries may have swelling or bruising, depending on how the injury occurred.

Other than the pain, the worst part of a deltoid injury is that the athlete is instructed to rest for a few days. If the damage is bad enough, he or she might have to sit out for more than a few days. Some athletes with a deltoid injury might need a little bit of physical therapy to determine if the shoulder is ready for action.

If the range of motion improves and pain goes away, the athlete can usually get right back to the field. A physician or physical therapist might recommend that the athlete perform a few exercises each day to keep the injury from returning.