Symptoms of a bruise

The symptoms of a bruise or contusion result from an external force applied to a specific part of the body.
A bruise can cause serious damage; here are some examples:

  • Brain trauma can cause a skull fracture or cerebral hemorrhage, which can damage neurons in the brain; the consequences can be serious or even fatal.
  • A facial bruise can cause bleeding (nosebleeds) and bone fracture.
  • Possible consequences of bruising the eyeball: internal bleeding, detachment of the retina, lesion of the iris, glaucoma, cataract, lens luxation.
  • In the case of chest trauma , a pneumothorax can result from an injury to the lungs caused by an inwardly punctured rib, but the other organs contained in the chest can also suffer injuries, such as the liver.
  • A bruised breastbone can cause bleeding in the chest or serious organ damage to the heart, lungs, and aorta.
  • A bruised shoulder or arm can cause bruising and, in rare cases, a shoulder dislocation.
  • A contusion of the femur and especially the knee can be very painful because it can cause bone edema that heals very slowly.
  • A sprained ankle is sometimes caused by trauma during a sporting competition, in which case the bruise is more extensive but the consequences are the same.
  • A bruised finger (eg during a volleyball game) can cause subluxation or rupture of the flexor tendon, in which the damage can be detected with the help of an ultrasound scan.

The triggering factor of a bruise is called a blunt because, unlike a sharp object, it cannot penetrate inside. Cuts of the upper surface of the skin are rare: derma and epiderma; in some cases, skin abrasions occur, ie minor skin injuries (e.g. scraped knees when falling on asphalt). The blow or
impact injures small blood vessels and causes a congestion, which causes the classic bruise to form, which can also be seen from the outside in its purple-blue-greenish shimmering colour. The formation of bruises as a result of minor trauma to the legs is common in many women.

Athletes who are exposed to direct body or ball contact during play (soccer, rugby, volleyball, basketball, football, handball, water polo, etc.) or who practice martial arts (judo, aikido, karate, etc.) are often affected by bruises .) hit the mat, whereby the skin usually remains unharmed.

Many soccer players have bruises under their toenails caused by bruises from shooting or direct physical contact with other players. The nail breaks or comes off entirely, causing an externally visible bruise.
Accidents at home and at work are common and mostly cause bruises on the upper limbs.

With a deeper injury, the less superficial blood and lymph vessels are damaged, creating an intramuscular hematoma that is not visible from the outside; after a week, a spot may become visible slightly below the affected area because gravity causes the blood to trickle down.
In addition, with a bruise, swelling is noticeable, which forms as an inflammatory reaction of the human body.
The bruise will be absorbed over time, lightening and taking on a yellowish color.


What different forms of bruising can occur?

  • Skin bruise: only the superficial areas of the body are affected by the injury.
  • Muscle contusion: the muscle tissue is affected, bruising or edema is formed; if it was a major and violent impact, it can lead to a muscle lesion or a muscle tear (e.g. a horse kicking).
  • Tendon bruise: the tendon is a fibrous, strong, resilient connective tissue structure, a lesion or inflammation strikes the tendon sheath that surrounds it and is more vulnerable; tendonitis develops .
  • Bone contusion: If the trauma hits the bone directly, it can damage and inflame the periosteum. This type of bruise is very painful.

What are the symptoms of a bruise?

In the event of a bruise, the patient immediately feels a sharp pain in the affected area.
After a few hours or days, a bruise becomes noticeable and, depending on the location of the injury, there may be a loss of strength or restricted mobility when moving due to painful stitches.

The foot is one of the most commonly affected areas; many soccer players have a big toe with a black or completely detached toenail.

What complications can occur with a bruise?

If bone injuries are present, the symptoms of a fracture appear, if there is damage to nerve tissue, pins and needles and paresthesia may be felt, for example damage to the ulnar nerve (nervus ulnaris) causes pain and loss of sensation from the elbow to the little finger and ring finger.
If the bruise is not absorbed, it can become a hard bruise that is much harder to break up.
After many months or years, the bruise can ossify, ie it joins the bone tissue and forms bone cells all around.
If the skin was also injured by the bruise, an infection can develop.
If the trauma is severe or if the hemorrhage stops the supply of nutrients to the cells, cell or tissue death (necrosis) can result.


The doctor must evaluate the symptoms and medical history. After that, they may order an echography to see if there are muscle and tendon injuries, or an X-ray if a fracture is suspected.

What is the right treatment for a bruise?

The treatment in the acute phase consists of cooling , immobilization or immobilization, as well as pressure bandages to stem the bleeding and inflammation (PECH rule).

Muscle, bone, tendon, and joint bruises should heal by themselves in a few days, the pain should quickly diminish in intensity, and the bruise should be absorbed; however, if the patient is in a hurry to recover or if there is no improvement, the best treatment method is Tecar Therapy ®, which drains the blood and has anti-inflammatory, stimulating and analgesic effects.
A light massage of the painful area can be effective, but at least two days should elapse after the dream.
Cold application is only beneficial for the first 24 hours, after which it is rather detrimental as it would further increase blood congestion and counteract the body’s healing processes. The day after the injury, the affected area needs to be moved and given heat, which speeds up metabolism and the cells’ self-healing mechanisms.

If the bruise is extremely voluminous, surgical intervention may be necessary to remove it; the doctor treating you will make this decision.

What are the recovery times? The healing prognosis

Healing times depend on the severity of the damage.
Without treatment, a muscle contusion heals completely within 2-3 weeks if there are no complications.
In some cases, the bruise becomes hard or organizes, that is, dries up and only the solid part remains.

Here, Tecar therapy is the best form of treatment that serves blood absorption.
Organ damage must be treated by a doctor or, if necessary, by a surgeon.

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