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The Deltoid muscle forms a dome above the glenohumeral joint and is intimately concerned with gleno-humeral joint activity. It is a multi-pennate muscle, broad and strong. Functionally the deltoid muscle can be considered as three separate muscles – anterior posterior and middle, this is also reflected in then pain maps which tend to be local to the area of trigger point manifestation. Typically trigger points in the deltoid muscle tend to present with shoulder pain which worsens with motion and eases at rest. The patient also tends to present with reduced range of motion and some loss of strength above 90 degrees.


The Deltoid is composed of three parts: anterior, middle, and posterior. Only the middle part is multipennate, probably because its mechanical disadvantage of abduction of the shoulder joint requires extra strength. The following are some of the conditions which may cause trigger points to develop in the Deltoid muscle:

SPORTS: Incorrect swimming, weight lifting, soccer (blows), basketball, jerky and vigorous repetitive movements, fishing, OTHER: overuse of power tools, sudden blows to the shoulder, rifle rebound, skiing falls, injections into shoulder, dislocations and/or holding small baby.

How do you treat trigger these trigger points? We’d be delighted if you want to share your own best practice.

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