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.
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.