The professional and recreational demands of modern society make the treatment of muscle injury an increasingly important clinical problem, particularly in the athletic population. In the elite athlete, significant financial and professional pressures may also exist that emphasize the need for accurate diagnosis and treatment. With new advances in ultrasound technology, images of exquisite detail allow diagnosis of muscle injury that matches the accuracy of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Furthermore, the benefits of real-time and Doppler imaging, ability to perform interventional procedures, and relative cost benefits compared with MRI place ultrasound at the forefront for investigation for these injuries in many circumstances. Muscle injury may be divided into acute and chronic pathology, with muscle strain injury the most common clinical problem presenting to sports physicians. This article reviews the spectrum of acute and chronic muscle injuries, with particular attention to clinical features and some common or important muscle strain injuries.