n International SportMed Journal - A clinical approach to the diagnosis and management of acute muscle injuries in sport : review article

Volume 5, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1528-3356



The purpose of this review was to provide the clinician with an approach to the diagnosis and management of acute muscle injuries in sport. An acute muscle injury can be defined as any injury resulting from a sudden excessive intrinsic or extrinsic force application to muscle tissue that results in a disruption of the muscle fibres and surrounding tissue. Acute muscle injuries represent a spectrum of pathology, with the most common injury being the partial muscle tear or strain injury. General risk factors for acute muscle strain injuries are previous recent muscle injury and past muscle injury, decreased muscle strength (mainly eccentric muscle strength), muscle imbalance (decreased eccentric (antagonist) to concentric (agonist) muscle strength), decreased musculotendinous flexibility, increased age, and increased training load. The diagnosis of an acute muscle injury is made clinically (history and physical examination) with the use of soft tissue diagnostic ultrasound being the special investigation of choice. Management in the acute inflammatory phase (1-72 hours post-injury) is by ice, compression, elevation and immobilisation. Therapeutic ultrasound and hyperthermia (after 48 hours) are also useful to increase healing. The use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in the first 24-48 hours may delay healing but after 48 hours, and for up to 7 days post-injury, NSAIDs are useful to aid clinical recovery. The use of corticosteroids and hyperbaric oxygen should be avoided but anabolic steroids have been shown to increase healing in experimentally induced injuries in animal studies.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error