Muscle injuries are one of the most common traumas occurring in sports. Despite their clinical importance, few clinical studies exist on the treatment of these traumas. Thus, the current treatment recommendations for muscle injuries have either been derived from experimental studies or been tested only empirically. Although non operative treatment should almost always be the 1(st) choice as it results in good functional outcomes in the majority of athletes with muscle injuries, the consequences of failed treatment can be very dramatic, possibly postponing an athlete's return to sports for weeks or even months. Moreover, the recognition of some basic principles of skeletal muscle regeneration and healing processes can considerably help in both avoiding the imminent dangers and accelerating the return to competition. Accordingly, in this review, the authors have summarized the prevailing understanding on the biology of muscle regeneration in hopes of extending these findings to clinical practice in an attempt to propose an evidence-based approach for the diagnosis and optimal treatment of skeletal muscle injuries.
Keywords: NSAID; contusion; eccentric exercise; immobilization; skeletal muscle; strain.