Bruising is sometimes a side effect of exercise. Exercise is touted as a must for people interested in losing weight, promoting health, and slowing – or preventing – the development of certain chronic diseases. While there is no doubt that the benefits of exercise are numerous, there are some undeniable drawbacks.
Bruising is a possible, albeit rare, side effect of certain types of physical activity. Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider if your bruises do not show signs of healing within a week, spreads with renewed vigor and exudes pain.
What is Bruise?
A bruise – or contusion as it is sometimes called – occurs as a result of bleeding under the skin or in the surrounding tissue. Bruises are traditionally classified into one of three categories, including subcutaneous bruising, or those that occur:
under the skin;
occur inside the muscle;
periosteal bruising, or those that occur on the surface of the bone.
Both intramuscular and periosteal bruises can form as a result of the exercise program.
When muscles are stressed during weightlifting or strength training, they create a series of tiny micro-tears – and as they heal (scarring), the athlete’s muscles become stronger and larger. While this is a normal part of any training program, athletes who do professional weightlifting may actually be at risk of developing intermuscular bruising due to excessive strain on muscle fibers.
In fact, participating in a very intense training program can cause enough trauma to the muscle fibers to release a small amount of blood into nearby tissues. Powerlifting, weightlifting, and doing maximum weights with one rep are examples of extreme overuse exercises that can cause intermuscular bruising.
Bruising After Aerobic Workout
People who notice bruising after participating in aerobic exercise may suffer from subcutaneous or periosteal bruising. While subcutaneous bruising is traditionally the result of trauma – for example, falling off a bicycle while cycling – periosteal bruising can be an obvious sign of a fairly serious injury.
In fact, periosteal bruising sometimes results from stress fractures, such as those that afflict endurance runners. Periosteal bruises are not only the most painful, but also take the longest to heal, according to leading specialists of medical centers.
Home Remedies for Bruises
According to the medical data of the base of orthopedic surgeons, bruises can be treated with the help of rest, ice, compression and lifting of the damaged area. Take a break from bruising activities. Apply ice for up to 20 minutes at a time. Lightly wrap the area with a compression bandage to help control swelling. Raise the damaged area above your heart level.
When to get help
While most bruises heal without help on their own, people suffering from severe cases of intermuscular or periosteal bruises may need medical treatment. If you have a bruise after a workout that has not started to heal after a week, go to a specialized medical institution to see your doctor.
If you do develop periosteal bruising as a result of a stress fracture, you may need medical treatment and may be advised to undergo surgery. Likewise, those who develop intermuscular bruising may need long rest and medical supervision to ensure complete recovery.