Deltoid Muscle Pain or Strain: Treatment and Recovery Tips

Deltoid Muscle Pain or Strain: Treatment and Recovery Tips

Posted by Kyle Burton on

Chronic stress and a lack of movement does more than make you feel tired. If you’re not careful, you could experience deltoid muscle pain that keeps you from living your life to the fullest.

One of the most frustrating issues for working adults in America is back pain and shoulder pain. The deltoid muscle is the area between your neck and shoulder, working as a middle ground to help you rotate your arms. When this area becomes swollen and stiff, everyday actions can become challenging to complete.

Recovering from a deltoid strain isn’t always easy, especially when you still need to work, commute, or study. Our guide will give you easy recovery tips to reduce pain and return you to your life!

What Causes Deltoid Muscle Pain?

An agonizing aspect of deltoid muscle pain is how easily it can occur. One way or another, most American adults have felt some pain in this body area.

The primary causes of deltoid muscle pain are as follows:

Repetitive Activities

Does your week involve a lot of typing, drawing, or cleaning? Repetitive activities increase your risk for a repetitive motion injury, such as deltoid muscle pain.

Reducing your risk involves stretching regularly and adjusting your ergonomic set-up. For example, try typing on a keyboard that’s level with your chest so you’re not putting too much stress on your shoulders.

High Levels of Chronic Stress

Chronic stress causes several physical health problems over time. One less appreciated detail of chronic stress is how it increases your risk for pulled muscles.

When you’re constantly stressed, you tend to clench your jaw, tighten your shoulders, and breathe more tightly. All of these factors put stress on your muscles, leaving you feeling sore and stiff throughout the week.

Strenuous Exercise

Last but not least, strenuous exercise is a common contributor to deltoid muscle pain. Moving your body in sharp and extreme motions will pull muscles that haven’t been properly stretched first.

A few examples of strenuous exercise include:

  • High-intensity dancing
  • Swimming
  • Sports such as basketball, baseball, or football

What are the Symptoms of Deltoid Muscle Pain?

On the bright side, this condition is straightforward to diagnose and treat. You’ll know you have deltoid muscle pain when you feel stiffness, lancing pain, or burning between your neck and shoulder.

Grade One: Mild

If you’re still able to move your arm without too much difficulty, you have a mild injury. Mild deltoid muscle pain feels like swelling and stiffness in your upper shoulder. 

Grade Two: Moderate

Grade two refers to partial tears in your deltoid muscle. Tears are quite painful and will result in more difficulty moving your arm or fingers.

Grade Three: Severe

A severe tear in your deltoid muscle is debilitating. Not only will you have a hard time moving your arm, you might find difficulty standing or laying down.

Related: Best CBD Products For Nerve Pain

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How Can I Treat My Deltoid Muscle Strain?

When you notice the onset of deltoid muscle pain, your first order of business should be to stop whatever you’re doing. Repetitive motion or exercise will make things worse and delay your recovery.

Step Number One: Use Ice For The First Twenty-Four Hours

Icing your muscle for ten to fifteen minutes at a time a few times per day will reduce swelling. Try not to ice for too long, since this can slow your blood flow too much.

Step Number Two: Switch to Heat

After the first day or two of icing your injury, switch to heat. Heat stimulates blood flow and promotes faster healing to the damaged area.

Step Number Three: Do Very Gentle Stretching

Stretching effectively does not look like pulling your muscles as hard as possible. To stretch your muscle properly, focus on duration and being as gentle as possible.

Common stretches to relax your deltoid muscle include:

  • Leaning your head very gently to one side for two minutes at a time
  • Raising your arms above your head for two minutes at a time
  • Turning your head and leaning your chin down for two minutes at a time

Step Number Four: Try Hemp Muscle Rub

Need a little extra help getting fighting fit? Try our Hemp Muscle Rub next time you’re struggling with a sore, stiff deltoid. 

With a mixture of hemp isolate and soothing ingredients like menthol, you’ll be feeling better in no time.

Related: Legs Sore After Squats And Leg Day? Here’s How To Recover Fast

How Long Does It Take to Recover Deltoid Muscle Pain?

Recovering from deltoid muscle pain takes time. Your muscle needs to improve its blood flow and stitch back the damaged muscle tissue.

The more severe your injury, the longer your recovery. Mild deltoid muscle pain usually takes a few days to fade away, while moderate deltoid muscle pain may take a week or two. Severe deltoid muscle pain may take a few weeks to a month before you notice improvement.

Related: How To Treat Iliotibial Band Syndrome


Deltoid muscle pain is painful, but it’s not forever. Provided you follow your treatment plan closely, you will have your relief and mobility returned to you in no time.

Deltoid muscle pain is usually caused by repetitive motion, strenuous exercise, and/or chronic stress. Recovering from your condition involves a mixture of ice treatment, heat treatment, and very gentle stretching. While you may be tempted to jump back into action as soon as possible, we advise against it. A smooth recovery needs downtime!

Health and wellness looks different for everyone. Contact us today to start enjoying our soothing, easy-to-use muscle rubs.

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