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 4/14/2013
Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.