Contusions, quite the scary term. Painful sounding and fear-inducing I’m sure; but what if I told you you’ve been contused hundreds of times in your life? And you survived!
What is it then?
It’s a bruise. It can mean several different things in relation to the severity of the contusion but it’s pretty much a bruise. Any time blood is leaking from a capillary or blood vessel, that’s a contusion. Any pool of blood outside the blood vessels is a hematoma. For the most part these are regular old bruises and are nothing to worry about. A few days of discolouration and all will be well.
There are also bone contusions as well. Not something you’d expect from something like bone, but bone also has blood vessels and is comprised of tissue; as such bone can bruise like anything else. They are somewhat more severe and can limit movement and cause swelling for a few days to a few months.
If pain from a bruise or impact lingers longer than three days or so, you should call for a check-in with a doctor.
How bad is it?
Generally speaking? Not that bad. As mentioned, bone bruises are somewhat worse and can take longer to heal but there typically aren’t many complications when dealing with bruises. If you are concerned, always get a professional medical opinion, DO NOT rely on internet articles alone.
Can I prevent it?
Yes. Proper footwear, being alert and not falling are the biggest preventative things I can think of. But accidents do happen almost anywhere.
What if it happens to me?
Well, RICE of course! And no, I don’t mean rice like the tasty puffed bits found in your cereal or underneath your favourite foods. I mean this:
Rest – don’t use that bruised body part if you can avoid it
Ice – 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a day, but avoid direct skin contact with ice or any cold source for that matter, it can cause more damage
Compress – wrapping the affected area helps contain the swelling
Elevate – raise the area above your head to drain some blood out, thanks gravity!
Will I be okay?
Of course, you will. But, like with anything, if you are concerned or just plain aren’t an expert on injuries and First Aid matters, find some training that will teach you proper methods of dealing with this injury or make a clinic visit or doctor’s appointment to get your damage checked out.