Care and Feeding of a Bruise

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Derby bruise? Grab some sharpies and make it into a tattoo! Or, read on if you prefer practical solutions.

Scroll to the bottom to download printable Sport Drink Recipe!

In a nutshell, my version of R.I.C.E. See disclaimer.

  • Rest/Rehydration
  • Ice/Ice drinks
  • Compress/Chocolate milk
  • Elevation/Electrolytes/Epsom salt

Bruises are an inevitable reality of the rough and tumble, hit and run sport of Roller Derby! These badges of our efforts and accidents are proudly displayed on social media for all to 'eeooh' and 'oouuaaah' the shape, size, the multicolored glory!
Maybe you don't think twice about them. They do come with the territory. But just in case you want a treatment for a bruise aka contusion, here is what you can do!

Bruises happen when a blow breaks blood vessels near the skin's surface. First, makes sure no joint or bone damage has occurred. You can ascertain this information by whether or not you are able to bend a limb or joint.  Further damage, extreme pain, sensitive locations, or certain medical conditions may warrant a trip to the doctor to get checked out.

As per Wiki- Rehydration, Oral rehydration therapy. Electrolyte drinks containing sodium and potassium salts replenish the body's water and electrolyte levels after dehydration caused by exercise, excessive alcohol consumption, diaphoresis, diarrhea, vomiting, intoxication, starvation. Athletes exercising in extreme conditions (for three or more hours continuously, e.g.marathon or triathlon that do not consume electrolytes risk dehydration (or hyponatremia). A home-made electrolyte drink can be made by using water, juice, sugar and salt in precise proportions. Electrolytes are commonly found in fruit juices, coconut water, sports drinks, milk, nuts, and many fruits and vegetables (whole or in juice form) (e.g., potatoes, avocados).

Ice on and off for 15 minutes of the hour the first 12-24 hours. Use a cloth between the ice pack and skin to make the cold more comfortable. Never leave a cold pack on too long or if it makes you uncomfortable.

Compression? Don't do the compression. Compression can cut off circulation needed for healing. Compress-
a pad of absorbent material pressed onto part of the body to relieve inflammation or stop bleeding.

Chocolate milk. Because CHOCOLATE MILK!

Elevate affected area if possible. If you have a tub, soak in an Epsom salt bath. ES are magnesium sulfate. This wonderful ingredient helps reduce pain and inflammation to aid in healing. If you don't have a tub, make a compress by dissolving ES in some hot water in a bowl and place a rag saturated with the water right on your bruise. You can even take some ES dissolved in water internally. See package for measurements, uses and directions. This is a must have in the medicine arsenal. You can even use it in the garden. I recommend all it's many uses! You don't have to be beat and bruised to enjoy it in the bath.
Still hurting? Take acetaminophen to ease the pain. Aspirin is a blood thinner so avoid it as a painkiller for bruises. Rest.

If skin is not broken and you want to do even more self-care, use an Arnica herb infused oil, gel or cream topically directly on site of bruise 2x a day. Arnica is known as the first aid herb and is very effective in alleviating pain and accelerating healing. I keep a small vial of it in my purse for those little crashes and bumps. It also comes in a convenient spray. It's very effective. I try never to leave home without it!
If skin is broken, use oral Arnica montana 30X homeopathic remedy. Arnica is also effective on sprains, strains, soreness, pain of arthritis, over exertion and exhaustion.

Two days after injury,  if you still care, use a warm hot water bottle, heat pad or warm, wet wash rag on area to increase blood circulation and assist in the healing process. Wet heat is more effective than dry heat. Just like ice, use heat 15 minutes and only if it feels good.

If you are like me and don't like to use straight ice in a baggy on your skin, make your own ice packs. Use clean sponges. Trim if necessary to fit inside a ziplock or vacuum seal baggie. Add 1 part rubbing alcohol to 2 parts water-enough to thoroughly saturate sponge. Freeze. The alcohol makes the sponge remain pliable so you can form it around the area needing cooling pain relief. Refreeze and reapply as needed. These work in a lunchbox to help keep food cold too.

Do you have bruises that you don't know how they got there? Sometimes people bruise easily due to vitamin deficiencies. A diet high in vitamins C and K help build your resistance to bruising. Vitamin C thickens the walls of the the blood cells, and vitamin K helps in blood clotting. Alfalfa tea or capsules are high in vitamin K. If you aren't eating foods high in C on a daily basis, add a supplementary C such as a chewable tablet or drink Emergen C. Or kill 2 birds with one stone and eat alfalfa sprouts and get Vitamin C and K all in one! Sprouts are simple to water and grow indoors! Talk about healthy fast, fresh food!

Do what you got to do, Derby!

Disclaimer- The guy who invented RICE in 1978, the gold standard for self-care of injuries, bruises and sprains has come out saying that both ice and rest may actually delay your healing. The bottom line for icing is-if you are uncomfortable and in pain, put a little ice on to take the edge off. But that which cures can kill. Too much ice = frostbite. I trust you to figure the balance that works best for you.

Bruise Tattoo Gallery

Sacred Buffalo

Fish escaping the net. Awesome fishnet bruises.

Fallin' leaf

Dragon fire

Thanks to you who so graciously helped me make this gallery by sharing their photos with me. Bobbin Weaver, Pink Venom, CC, and Loker Motion!

Bonus Recipes! Download the pdf file to print a copy! Enjoy!

IDGAF Electrolyte Sports Drink Mix

1 powder drink mix pack like Kool-aid

1/8 teaspoon Morton lite salt (for potassium)

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons sugar

2 quarts water

Mix together to make inexpensive sport drink.

sport drink printable.pdf (11.5KB)

Love, Blast!

About The Author

DOB: 9/24/1964
Leagues: Bio:

I love Roller Derby! Started as a hobby, became an addiction, is now an obsession! I've been skating since I was 4 when I got my first pair of skates with the metal wheels! I've been skating derby style since 02/22/10.

I have cut decals for derby people all over the world including The U.K., England, Scotland, Wales, Finland, Ireland, Switzerland, Denmark, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Mexico, Tasmania, Germany, France, Italy, Norway, The Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, China, Japan, South Africa, coast to coast and in between the USA including Guam, Puerto Rico, Alaska & Hawaii.

Mission... World dominance!

My main muse for vinyl is Roller Derby. I love this niche market. It is so fun to be making helmet decals! It's a dream job. I work for you and I love it. Thank you!

Feel free to email me if you need assistance with the decals in my shop.



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