‘a region of injured tissue or skin in which blood capillaries have been ruptured; a bruise’. Contusion is a medical term for bruise.
A contusion occurs when a capillary or blood vessel gets damaged and then leaks blood into the surrounding tissues. They are a type of hematoma, which means blood outside of a blood vessel.
At Cranbourne Family Chiropractic and Wellness Centre we regularly see bruising associated with muscle strains, ligaments sprains, fractures and other bone trauma.
Contusions can affect both bone and soft tissue.
Bone is also made of tissue and blood vessels. Injury causes blood vessels to leak. Causes include falls, accidents or high-impact sports injury.
- stiffness or swelling
- trouble bending or using the affected area
- long lasting pain
Diagnosis relies on ruling out fracture. MRI is best to do this.
Healing can take anywhere from a few days to several months, depending on the severity.
In the first instant you are best to apply first aid, i.e. R.I.C.E.
Muscle or skin tissuebruising
These are easier to diagnose compared with bone bruising.
- Discoloration of the skin that looks red, green, purple, blue, or black
- Difficulty moving the affected area if associated with a muscle or ligament injury.
As blood coagulates and breaks down chemicals are released into surrounding tissues. These chemicals are an irritant, breaking down normal tissues. Furthermore, the nature of swelling brings more fluid to the area which not only creates a pressure impact but also chemicals that act as irritants.
The purpose of treatment is to reduce swelling and move the fluids including the congealed blood.
Contrary to popular belief massaging the area early on is not recommended. The risk is more trauma. Massaging around the area however, may help.
At Cranbourne Family Chiropractic and Wellness Centre we recommend interferential, a combination of ultra-sound and TENS therapy. Cups are placed around the bruised areas for around 40 minutes. This is repeated anywhere from 2 to 10 sessions over 2-3 weeks depending on the severity of the bruising.
If left untreated you risk hardening of the congealed blood and a semi-permanent lump developing.
Creams such as hirudoid and Arnica may help break down surface bruising.
The bottom lines
A bruise a sign of something underlying such as a tear or fracture. If left un treated, you may develop a hardened lump which can create other problems.
For more information call our reception on 5998 4554.
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About the Author:
Dr Andrew Arnold is a Chiropractor and ACTP accredited Business Coach.
Andrew is married to Dr. Linda Wilson, the Stress Specialist and has two children, Isaac and Bella. He lives in Melbourne, Australia.
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