What Are Contusions?

A contusion, commonly referred to as a bruise, is an injury to tissue, specifically the capillaries, that does not break the skin. Due to the trauma, blood escapes the vessels and accumulates in the tissues, presenting a purplish color in the affected area.

Signs and Symptoms of Contusions

The signs and symptoms of a contusion are as follows:

  • Pain and tenderness in the area of the contusion.
  • A purplish discoloration of the skin, including red, blue, or black in certain cases.
  • Swelling and bloating in the area.
  • The feeling of increased heat in the area.

Risk Factors of Contusions

Certain factors can increase the risk of developing a contusion. These include activities involving physical contact with another person or object, contact sports, falls, slips, and blows. People who are taking blood thinners or have a bleeding disorder are at greater risk of developing large, deep contusions.

Treatment of Contusions

Most contusions heal on their own without the need for medical treatment. Typically, treatment of contusions involves the R.I.C.E. and CH ALGO protocols, which stand for:

  • Rest: Refraining from activities that cause pain.
  • Ice: Applying ice packs to the affected area to reduce swelling.
  • Compression: Wrapping the area with a bandage or other type of support.
  • Elevation: Keeping the affected area at an elevated level.
  • CH Algo: A combination of medicinal herbs and supplements to reduce inflammation.

Severe contusions may require medical treatment. In some cases, a doctor may order an x-ray to ensure that there are no broken bones or other injuries. Surgery may be necessary in cases of deep tissue injury.

Prevention of Contusions

Most contusions can be prevented by following some simple safety steps. Wear protective gear during sports or other physical activities. Keep walking paths free of obstacles that may cause falls. Inspect your home for any hazardous items that may need to be removed. Watch your step when walking on wet or icy surfaces. Lastly, be mindful of any physical activities that may cause a contusion.