You’ve read the wrestling boots review, you got them, did the workout and now you’re suddenly covered in bruises? Maybe not covered head to toe, but there are enough of them to make you worry if there’s something wrong with your health and asking how could you get rid of them? We will be looking at some answers in this article.
You’re just trying to stay healthy
Exercising is recommended for various things such as having general good health, losing weight, and slowing the evolution of some chronic conditions (or even preventing them altogether). Of course, exercising does come with all those benefits, but there are also some drawbacks to it if you are not completely careful.
Bruises can appear if you’re following some types of physical activity but they tend to be pretty rare – you’re not going to get a bruise after each workout. This is normal, but if you notice that you bruised and, after a week, the bruises are still there, maybe it’s time to contact a doctor and see what it’s about.
What’s a bruise?
A bruise (also known as a contusion sometimes) appears because there is bleeding under the skin or somewhere in the surrounding tissues. Bruises can be divided into three types: the subcutaneous bruises, the intermuscular ones, and the periosteal ones.
The first type refers to those that appear beneath the skin, the second category to those that appear inside a muscle, while the third category includes the ones that appear on the surface of the bone. The second and third types can appear as a result of taking part in some exercise program.
Bruising from weightlifting
When you are weightlifting or doing any type of resistance training, then you place your muscles under a fair amount of stress. As a result, some tiny tears can occur. When the tears start to heal, your muscles start becoming larger, but also stronger.
Even if this is a pretty normal part of training for resistance, when you take part in some heavy weightlifting, you have a pretty good chance of developing some intramuscular bruises as a result of the extra stress that is being placed onto the muscle fibers.
You may even say that by taking part in such intense resistance training you will have to deal with some trauma to the muscle fibers that will lead to some very small quantities of blood being released into adjacent tissue. One-repetition maximum lifts and powerlifting are prime instances in which intramuscular bruises can occur.
Bruising from aerobic exercises
After you’re done with your daily aerobic exercises, you may notice some periosteal or subcutaneous bruises. The latter type usually appears as a direct result of trauma (for example, if you’ve fallen off of your bicycle while you were riding it), but the first type can be a bit more serious.
Periosteal bruises can appear because of some stress fractures (which is fairly common in endurance runners). Such bruises are extremely painful (the most painful of them all) and they also take a long period of time to heal.
How to treat bruising at home
According to just about any doctor, you can treat bruises very easily, at home, by yourself, by using the typical rest, ice, compression, and elevation method, also called RICE.
In order to treat the bruises, the first step you have to take is to stop the activity that is causing the bruising in the first place (rest). Put some ice on the bruised area for around 20 continuous minutes (ice). You can do this more than once.
Now for the third step, you have to wrap said area very lightly by using a compression bandage which will help in controlling the swelling that is taking place (compression). The final step is to elevate that area that is injured above the level of your heart so you will help with the blood circulation (elevation).
Other traditional remedies that are known to have an effect are applying apple cider vinegar, arnica oil, and Aloe vera to the affected area and you should start noticing an improvement in the bruise-related problem soon enough.
Should you ask a doctor?
Generally speaking, there is no reason to waste your time or the doctors’ with bruises as they have the tendency to heal on their own. Just apply the RICE method and you should start seeing results in a matter of days.
But there are cases in which the bruises can’t heal on their own. If you have a severe case of a periosteal or intramuscular bruise, then you should ask a specialist. If your bruise is still not healed after a week and you still feel pain from it, then it’s time to ask a doctor.
There are cases in which people who had a periosteal bruise that appeared because of a stress fracture had to follow some medical treatment or even go under the knife. It sounds scary, but it’s better to confront the problem instead of letting it hurt you for more time and still having to undergo surgery in the end.
Also worth mentioning is the fact that people who exercise and have developed an intramuscular bruise will need some time to rest properly, but also some supervision from a specialist in order to make sure that they will experience a complete recovery.
What else leads to bruising?
The deficit of some vitamins and nutrients in your typical diet can play a big part in bruising appearing. Iron, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K are the three most important ones that you shouldn’t lack to avoid bruising. Iron helps the production of red blood cells, Vitamin C forms collagen and Vitamin K is the one that helps the blood to clot.
In case you feel that maybe your diet plays an important role in your development of bruises, you can ask the specialist to prescribe you some supplements and vitamins.
We already know staying in the sun for too long is not healthy, but you probably didn’t know the sun can also be a reason for the increased number of bruises you noticed lately. How does this happen? The UV rays are to be blamed again as they make blood vessel walls much thinner so your bruises will develop faster.
Try to avoid too much sun and do your exercises in places that have plenty of shade. Apply some high-SPF sunscreen as well so you can avoid any harmful reactions from the sun.
We must also mention that medication can play a role in this as well. Some drugs have the side effect of preventing blood clotting so a greater quantity of blood is being released into your body which leads to bruises being more visible. Check with your specialist if you think that medication could be playing a role in developing bruises.
Finally, we must also mention aging as a factor. As much as you still like to work out, as you grow older, skin tends to become thinner because there is collagen lacking and the skin tissue becomes much more fragile. This means your body is going to bruise much easier compared to your younger self, even if you’re doing the same exercises you’ve always done.
Unfortunately, for now, there is that much we can do about aging so if this is the case for you, then you must learn how to be more careful when you work out and apply the RICE treatment more often so you’ll be in good health all the time.
Should I stop exercising?
Normally, no. Bruising is just one of the side effects of working out, regardless of the sport you are taking part in. If it’s a group sport then bruises are even more common as you’ll surely bump into someone with plenty of force at some point. Even training alone can cause you bruises.
What you need to do is to be a bit more careful the next time. Use the RICE method and try observing some patterns so you’ll try to remove the harmful move from your repertoire. Since most bruises are no sign of real worry, you can keep on working out with no problems.
In case there is an underlying health problem, bruises may help you discover it so. All in all, you should be grateful for them because they don’t only show your hard work, but they can also save your life.