While severe injuries to the shoulder joint often require physical therapy or surgery, minor injuries to the deltoid muscle respond to a routine involving rest, ice, compression and elevation. If these steps do not bring relief or if the injury causes severe pain and swelling, a doctor should evaluate its severity, according to Sportsinjuryclinic.net.
Mayo Clinic recommends stopping what causes the pain immediately to allow the joint to rest. Apply an ice pack to the damaged muscle for 15 to 20 minutes every three to four hours to reduce swelling and pain. Over the counter medications such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen and naproxen sodium also help to relieve pain and swelling. After the swelling begins to subside in a few days, heat helps to relax the stiff muscles and improve movement of the joint.
According to WebMD, the deltoid is a large, triangular-shaped muscle that covers the ball and socket joint of the shoulder. The muscle is involved in movements of the upper arm to the front, back and side. It also is involved in lifting the arm away from the body. Deltoid muscles are often involved in shoulder separation injuries. Shoulder separations occur with direct blows to the joint, as during falls where the weight of the body lands on the shoulder.