A muscle bruise occurs when a direct blow from an object strikes part of the body, damaging the underlying muscle fibers and connective tissue without breaking the skin. A muscle bruise can cause pain and swelling and limited range of motion of the joint near the injury. Depending upon the extent of injury, a muscle bruise can take days or months to heal.
Update Date 5/1/2011
Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.