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What are Treatments for a Bruised Muscle?

By Patti Kate
Updated May 17, 2024
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Treatments for a bruised muscle or muscle injury might include applying ice or cold compresses to reduce swelling, and keeping the injured part propped up above heart level. Another course of treatment typically involves keeping the injured area immobile for a short period of time to avoid further complications. Oral analgesics may provide temporary relief from soreness and inflammation as well.

A bruised muscle, sometimes known as contusion muscle pain, may be helped by wrapping the injury site in a compression-type bandage. This method may help to reduce some of the associated swelling that can occur with muscle bruising. The patient should be certain the bandage is not applied too tightly to ensure proper circulation. These bandages can be found at most pharmacies and medical supply stores.

Many people rely on natural or organic herbal remedies for muscle contusions. To treat this condition in an all-natural way, mint can be applied directly onto the skin. This may help ease the pain and stiffness. Another herbal remedy is a topical solution of St. John's Wort, which may help with muscle pain.

An old remedy that has been used for many years is warm Epsom salt baths. Soaking in a solution of Epsom salt is a known remedy for muscle strains, sprains and soreness, and could bring relief for a bruised muscle injury. The typical recommendation is two cups of Epsom salt per gallon of water.

Some individuals may prefer to take an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever that has an anti-inflammatory effect, such as ibuprofen. There are other OTC medications that can help ease the pain as well. In addition, the use of OTC topical ointments can help the discomfort as well. These creams and ointments are formulated to reduce inflammation and pain of muscle bruising.

Gentle stretching of the bruised muscle may help to promote healing. This should also ease some of the pain associated with the contusion. As part of this beneficial routine, physical therapy may be recommended to speed the healing process and strengthen muscles that have been injured or weakened. A common practice is to ice the area after stretching to reduce further inflammation.

Alternate methods for a bruised muscle or muscle strain include massage and heat. When heat is chosen as a solution, it is typically done after 48 hours from the initial injury. Warm compresses may bring relief to sore muscles, and moist heat may be preferred by some.

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Discussion Comments
By indigomoth — On Jun 23, 2011

When I'm bruised I like to put a little bit of tiger balm on it. I usually only do it for deep muscle bruises on my thigh or my back though.

I don't think there is any expert on how to treat a bruised muscle though. Mostly you just need time to rest it and that's what most of us lack, as we have to keep going to work or to school or where ever and a muscle bruise doesn't seem like a good enough excuse to take time off.

By lluviaporos — On Jun 21, 2011

I personally like taking ibuprofen for bruising or muscle soreness. I just find the generic brands at the drug store or even the supermarket and use those.

I also try to keep the muscle as still as possible. I sometimes bruise if I have overworked a muscle, although it only happens if I have really overdone it.

It happened once after I'd been dancing at an outdoor concert all day, and another time when I'd been hiking for hours in rough terrain. Both times, my bruised leg muscles took a long time to heal and I tried to stretch them a bit, but otherwise kept off them as long as possible.

And took plenty of ibuprofen.

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