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What are Different Types of Contusion Treatment?

By Sarah Sullins
Updated May 17, 2024
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The most common contusion treatment includes elevating the affected part of the body, applying ice, wrapping it in an elastic wrap, and getting plenty of rest. Depending on how bad the problem is, contusion treatment may require pain medication. It may also be helpful to use a sling or crutches to help rest a leg or arm that has been injured.

A contusion is an injury to the muscle in a person's body. Many times, both the muscle and the sheath that surrounds it are torn, which leads to bleeding inside the body and bruising visible outside of it. This type of contusion most frequently only requires ice to reduce the swelling, elevation, compression, and a little bit of rest. The injury usually heals in a couple of days, and it usually only hurts when it is touched.

More serious contusions occur when the muscle is torn but the wrapping around the muscle is not. When this happens, there is no place for the blood to go, so it becomes trapped inside of the wrapping. This means the injury will most likely heal more slowly and may require medical attention. These types of injuries often can affect a person's ability to move the injured limb and may result in damage to the nerves.

A contusion treatment often includes rest. This means that the injured limb should be used as little as possible until it heals. Most doctors recommend that patients do not do anything that causes pain near the injury. Crutches and slings may be a helpful contusion treatment if extended rest is needed.

Applying ice to a contusion will assist in reducing the flow of blood under the skin. There is usually less bruising if the ice is applied immediately after the injury is suffered. The ice will also reduce any associated swelling. Most medical professionals recommend that the ice be applied for only 15 to 20 minutes at a time. It can usually be reapplied every one to two hours, and it should be wrapped in a towel so that it does not result in ice burn for the person using it.

Elastic wraps may be placed on the injured limb after the person is done using the ice. These wraps will compress the injury, reducing the swelling and further reducing the blood flow under the skin. Elevation as a contusion treatment will also help keep the swelling down around the hurt area of the body.

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Discussion Comments
By candyquilt — On Mar 19, 2012

@burcidi-- Did you know that you can avoid the bruise by putting vanilla extract on it as soon as you bump it? I know you said that you don't even realize it, but if I do, you can do this so that your skin doesn't turn blue or purple.

After it changes color, you can also apply witch hazel on it with a cotton ball to help it heal faster. But don't do either of these if you have an opening in your skin. It will hurt!

I learned both of these tips from my sister who works at a kindergarten. The kids are always falling down on the playground and they keep some witch hazel in the first aid kit for this.

By bear78 — On Mar 19, 2012

I think that there are many kinds of treatments for contusions, because they all can be so different in nature. Like with @burcidi's example, there isn't too much that needs to be done there except for some ice or ointment like she mentioned. But others can be really serious and might need medical treatment by a doctor.

I had a really bad contusion several years ago when I slipped and fell down a flight of stairs. I landed on my ankle, and in about ten minutes, it became really swollen. I put ice on it right away and went to the emergency where they took an x-ray. I had ripped a muscle in my foot and had to get a cast for exactly a month so that it would heal.

So obviously, the treatment depends on what kind of contusion it is, where it is located and what the symptoms are.

By burcidi — On Mar 18, 2012

I get little bruises all the time. Usually, I don't even realize when it happens and see it later when there is a bluish or purplish bruise.

I don't need to do anything for treatment, it goes away on it's own. It does take a really long time sometimes though. If I'm at my parent's house, then my mom will have me put some over-the-counter ointments on it to help heal the bruise faster. If I'm away at college, I just avoid touching it so that it doesn't hurt or get worse. If it hurts really bad, then I just put some ice.

The same goes for when I get a blood draw at the hospital. I always get a contusion where the needle went in. It can be really scary looking sometimes, but it disappears in about a week on its own.

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