Deltoid Muscle Strain
The deltoid muscle is a large and powerful muscle in the shoulder joint. During our everyday tasks the deltoid muscle does most of the work for your shoulder movements. Helping us carry heavy loads. Allows us the movement of our arm, simple tasks as swinging our arms while we walk, raise or lower our arm, when we using a keyboard at the computer or driving. Along with the rotator cuff it helps stabilize your shoulder joint from dislocation.
Deltoid strain is a common injury with shoulder muscles. We overextended with some movements such as throwing a baseball or lifting too much. Many people working on strength training or bodybuilders focus a whole workout on shoulder alone. These long periods of over-use and abuse to the shoulder muscles can easily produce trigger points pain that can be felt as a deep pain in the shoulder. A fall or sudden injury that jars the shoulder joint or even dislocates the shoulder can cause major damage to the deltoid muscle.
Any strain or pull in muscle tissue means the muscle fibers have experienced some damage. Severity of the damage will usually correlate with degree and duration of pain.
The affected shoulder may have signs and symptoms as:
- Swelling, bruising to the area (from damaged to small blood vessels under the skin) or redness
- Pain and soreness when at rest
- stiffness in the muscle
- limited range of movement or unable to use the muscle (shoulder/arm)at all.
More severe strains will result in greater loss of range of motion, weakness and muscle loss (atrophy).
Deltoid Muscle Strain Grading
There are three grades to a deltoid muscle strain.
- Grade 1 - a minor tear of the muscle (10% of the muscle fibers). You may be able to continue your activity because the pain is minor twinge in your shoulder. You will feel an increase in pain when bearing added weight in the arms. The shoulder muscle feels achy and tight for two to five days after the injury, recovery for healing is 7 to 10 days.
- Grade 2 - partial tearing of the deltoid muscle (over 50% of the muscle fibers). You will feel sharp pain and minor to moderate swelling of your shoulder. Lifting your arm to the front, side or back and carrying a small load (carrying a bag of groceries) will cause pain and may be difficult to do. If you press your finger into the deltoid muscle, you will feel an increase in pain. The shoulder muscle feels achy and tightness for a least a week after the injury, recovery for healing within about 4 to 6 weeks
- Grade 3 - complete tearing of over 90% of the deltoid muscle or rupture. This is the most painful of all the grades of shoulder deltoid pain, causing immediate severe pain, considerable bruising and swelling in the shoulder. You will find that you are unable to move your arm. A slight flex of the muscle might produce a bulge and contracting of the muscle will be very painful. You may not able to use your arm for daily activities, achy, tightness for about 30 to 35 days, recovery for healing within about three to four months.
Causes of Deltoid Strain
Most deltoid muscle injuries come about due to activities that have over-stressed the deltoid muscle. Common activities to cause deltoid strain are skiing, weightlifting, swimming, carrying children, and working with heavy tools (ie. nailguns, drills, etc). Highly repetitive activity is especially problematic and can even include activities such as typing and gardening.
It is no secret that a sharp blow to the shoulder can easily result in deltoid strains, and deltoid strain is a common issue for those that have suffered a shoulder dislocation or even car accident.
Axillary Nerve Issues
The axillary nerve is a tight bundle of nerves near the neck. These nerves are used to stimulate the deltoid muscle into action when we use our shoulder and arm. When the axillary nerve becomes damaged the deltoid muscle can no longer function correctly. You may have numbness over part of the outer shoulder and shoulder weakness (especially when lifting up your arm up and away from the body). Causes are direct injury, long-term pressure on the nerve (from cast or splints), shoulder injury and pressure from surround tissue, body-wide (systemic) disorders that cause nerve inflammation, deep infection, fracture, and improper use of crutches or shoulder dislocation.
Trigger Points - Referred Pain
Trigger points can become problematic and result in pain that seems to be in the deltoid region yet the source of the pain might be from elsewhere. There are trigger points in the deltoid as well, however, which can be activated by repetitive activities outlined above or by incidents such as using your shoulder to break a fall.
As you know, the deltoid muscle is located within the shoulder region. When you are feeling pain the shoulder region, it is important to get a proper diagnosis from a physician, as the shoulder region is often a location where pain from heart, lung and bowel issues will show up. Furthermore, referred pain from trigger points may also mean the source of pain is elsewhere, so make sure you find out what is really causing you pain.
Treatment - What You Can Do!
For years, doctors, trainers, and other medical professionals have recommended RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) to treat the pain and swelling of fresh injuries, chronic pain, and after any re-injury.
Mild, moderate and severe cases of deltoid shoulder strain are best treated with conservative home therapies. Seldom should even severe cases need surgical repair.
Although RICE can help to treat these symptoms, ice and freezer gel packs reach temperatures so low they can cause cryoburn, an ice burn on your skin. The problem is, up until now there hasn't been another option to treat painful conditions and injuries, so ice and freezer gel packs have been the only choice.
Fortunately, you no longer have to settle for these ice cold methods that are uncomfortably cold against your skin, provide short term relief, cause ice burns, and numb your skin and underlying tissue beyond feeling so you don't even notice the ice burn until it's too late. The Leg/Arm ColdCure Wrap® allows you to treat your shoulder in an effective and convenient way. Cold Compression Therapy works by stopping and slowing nerve and cell function in the injured area and reducing swelling that can block blood vessels.
This is important because once blood vessels are blocked or damaged, they can no longer carry oxygenated blood through the tissue and tissue cells begin to break-down. Without cold compression therapy cellular break-down and tissue damage continues as the cells do not get the oxygen they need to survive. By limiting the amount of damage done to your deltoid muscle, you also limit the amount of healing that needs to occur. This is a very important step to heal shoulder muscle injuries faster and with less pain!
Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy
Once the inflammation in your shoulder has been reduced, providing extra blood flow and strengthening the tissue in the muscles, tendons, and surrounding area is recommended.
Using Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy (BFST®), will speed your recovery and heal your shoulder more completely preparing it for strengthening exercises. BFST® increases the amount of blood that flows naturally to your soft tissue to nourish your tendons, ligaments and muscles, improving elasticity and increasing the healing process.
This increased Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy to your shoulder muscles is greatly needed. Our natural process for repair to damaged tissue is to heal the quickest way = scar tissue and adhesions.
The growth of scar tissue and adhesions can lie in any direction. Ultimately what causes stiffening in the shoulder muscles, entrapping a nerve (may lead to paralysis of the deltoid muscle), restricting movement, less elasticity, poor circulation, and flexibility.
Unfortunately, scar tissue may plague you for weeks, months and maybe even years, depending on your level of activity and the amount of conservative treatments you have done during your rehabilitation. Scar tissue is a major problem, especially when it comes to re-injury of your deltoid muscles. When dealing with scar tissue it is always important to:
- listen well to your physician and if conservative treatments are recommended and remember to stick to your (daily) treatment plan using these therapies
- frequent use of the Side Shoulder ColdCure Wrap® will help reduce the swelling very quickly. Much of the pain you feel will be from the swelling, and you will be surprised how fast the pain drops off once the swelling is down.
- the side shoulder BFST Wrap® is a safe, electromagnetic energy device that will help reduce scar tissue and increase blood flow to the area (thereby accelerating the body's own healing process).
- when applied before stretching, the Side Shoulder BFST Wrap® will help flush the area with fresh blood. This will help improve your range of motion and prevent re-injury.
It may seem hard to believe, but our Side Shoulder ColdCure Wrap®and Side Shoulder BFST Wrap® home therapy products will assist you in recovering from your injury faster and reduce the chance of degenerative conditions by maximizing blood flow where it is needed most, reduce swelling and inflammation induced pain.
Continuing the healing process with resting your shoulder. Limit your movements that may be aggravate your deltoid muscle, leading to re-injury. Muscle related injuries can easily turn from a grade 1 deltoid muscle strain into a grade 2 or a grade 2 into a grade 3 shoulder injury.
Don't settle for minimal treatments when the best products are ready and waiting for you! If you want to get back to your daily activities with fast, effective, and safe home therapy treatment, speak to your doctor or therapist about incorporating the Side Shoulder ColdCure Wrap® and BFST Wrap® into your training, recovery, and every day maintenance of your shoulder and upper arm.
Prevention and Promotion of Lifelong Health
If you want to avoid re-injury, or manage pain and increase circulation for lifelong health benefits. A Side Shoulder ColdCure Wrap® and Side Shoulder BFST Wrap®, will provide the results you are looking for.
Why spend time in pain, off from work, and missing out on your active lifestyle when you can be proactive about your injury and the health of your body? Talk to your doctor about incorporating a regular routine of using top-of-the-line cold compression and Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ FDA registered medical devices into your everyday health regimen.
Learn More About SUPERIOR Deltoid Muscle Strain Treatments
Learn more about how the Side Shoulder ColdCure Wrap® is designed to be the most effective cold compression wrap on the market today.
Learn more about how the Side Shoulder BFST Wrap® helps with the healing process.