As the enerG+ team celebrate conquering True Grit 2019, your body will no doubt be feeling the effects from successfully completing the challenge. You may be stiff and sore and will no doubt be finding some bruises!
Did you know that bruised muscles are the second most common sports injury after strains? Although not considered a serious injury, they can cause discomfort and create a nasty looking discoloration on the skin.
Whether it be from military inspired obstacles such as a climbing wall and commando crawl through a tunnel or just normal things like hitting the edge of the desk or table, muscle bruises are the result of your body hitting a solid object. When this occurs, the soft tissues under your skin are crushed but the skin does not rupture. When these soft tissues are damaged, blood from the ruptured capillaries leak out under the skin and pools, causing the area to swell. It then forms a mark that can be quite sore to touch.
So what is the treatment for bruises?
Most bruises will require very little treatment, however second and third degree muscle bruises (moderate and severe rupture, swelling and pain) should be treated initially with the R.I.C.E. regimen (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation). Avoid any form of heat on the bruise and try to reduce movement of the bruised area. These things will increase the bleeding, swelling and pain of the bruise. If in doubt please seek professional advice from your GP.
Bruises may take a couple of weeks to disappear but after 2-3 days the swelling will have lessened and you can start to apply gentle treatment to speed up recovery if needed.
Light activity is important as it will promote blood circulation and activate the lymphatic system. This is vital in clearing the body of toxins and waste products, which can accumulate in the body following a bruised muscle.
You can also use a heat pack as this is very effective in stimulating blood flow to the bruised muscle tissues and you can also start to massage the bruise and connecting muscles. The area may still be tender, so start light and gradually increase pressure. Also, remember to keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Gentle stretching is also vital, as this will help to regain your range of motion and re-align the bruised muscle fibers. While working on increasing the flexibility of the injured area, it is also important to increase the flexibility of the muscle groups around the bruise.
Check out some of our recent posts regarding stretching to make sure your body recovers quickly for the next challenge you set yourself.