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How to Prevent Pain from a Bruise

Updated on February 1, 2013

Heal a Bruise with Ice


Learn to Heal Bruises

I've had quite a few bruises over the years. My childhood was pretty active and I've kept that mentality into adulthood. I hike, dance, take tae kwon do, and am a general klutz.

Basically, I know a thing or two about bruises and how to heal them.

About a year ago my neighbor came to the door asking for advice. Her son had gotten into a fight and didn't want to give the bully the satisfaction of seeing him with a black eye.

I told them what I am about to tell you. When they came to me, I could see the beginnings of the purple outline of the bruise. He woke up the next day with a mild tenderness but absolutely no discoloration.

This is the routine I use now whenever I get a bruise or whenever someone asks me what to do. It's a winning combination!

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Heal a Bruise Faster

First Aid for a Bruise

Bruises hurt! You can make them better, though.
Bruises hurt! You can make them better, though. | Source

First-Aid for Treating a Bruise

So, you have a bruise. Perhaps you bumped into something like a door knob or a table (I do it all the time) and feel one forming. Or, maybe you've had a more dramatic injury like falling down. No matter how you got the bruise, the first aid is always the same.

Apply Ice

The very first thing that you should do is apply ice. You can either use an ice pack, cubes of ice in a bag, or you can even grab something like a bag of frozen peas from the freezer. My personal favorite is to use a bag of frozen peas. Ice is a little bit of a pain because it melts. I also find that ice packs don't get cold enough (the ones with the gel inside) but they are good in a pinch.

How long to ice it?

So, how long should you ice a bruise? You'll find that there is a lot of different information out there. Some people say to do it for ten minutes. Others say to do "20 minutes on, 20 minutes off".

I end up doing something in between that. I end up icing it for around 15 minutes. In theory, I will do the 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off routine but find that after the initial application, I tend to ice it around three times a day.

When the bruise first happens, I've been known to apply ice for as long as an hour. I am not sure it is a good thing or not as the typical wisdom says to rotate it. I think everyone needs to do what makes sense for them.

Take a Pain Killer

The best one to take is acetaminophen and Aspirin should be avoided. Aspirin prevents blood from clotting. You can switch to Aspirin a few days after the bruise forms but in general it is best to stick with acetaminophen.

Of course, this is an optional step. It can be really helpful to do if the bruise really hurts. Otherwise, I would just let your body heal it naturally.

Oranges - Vitamin C Boost to Heal a Bruise

If you have a bruise, eat an orange or two. The vitamin C can help the bruise heal!
If you have a bruise, eat an orange or two. The vitamin C can help the bruise heal! | Source

Home Remedies for Bruises

Natural Remedies for Bruises

There are some natural remedies I swear by. I credit these to being the most helpful in helping to heal a bruise and thereby minimizing pain.

Up Your Intake of Vitamin C

I read somewhere that Vitamin C can help heal bruises so I started upping my intake of vitamin C when the initial injury happens. These days, I don't really take supplements anymore but I do drink tea, eat things, and drink juices. So, I'll eat an orange, drink some orange juice, brew a cup of rosehips tea, and in general up my intake of this vitamin. I figure, it couldn't hurt.

Use Arnica

I keep arnica massage oil on hand as well as the arnica homeopathic remedy. In general, you should never take the arnica herb internally but it is more than fine taking the homeopathic remedy. Also, never apply arnica to broken skin.

Follow the package instructions on how often you can apply arnica to the bruise. For me, I tend to put it on right when the injury happens, in the morning, and before bed. This is what my neighbor used and I think it prevented him from getting a black eye.

Note that I have shared with you my two favorite arnica products in the Amazon section of this page.

Buy Arnica to Heal Bruises

What do you think?

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    • kohuether profile image

      Katherine Olga Tsoukalas 5 years ago from New Hampshire

      I agree - the same thing happens to me. :-) I don't have a chiropractor though but my massage therapist does the same thing!

    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 5 years ago from New Jersey

      Thanks for the good advice! I am such a klutz I have bruises and sometimes can't remember how I got them, so I couldn't have done anything that bad. My chiropractor just shakes his head!

    • kohuether profile image

      Katherine Olga Tsoukalas 5 years ago from New Hampshire

      Thanks! They keep changing the timing of how long to put the ice on! I always just keep it on as long as I think. Ice is amazing. Between ice and arnica I've managed to control some pretty intense bruising. I often ice, put some arnica while my tissues thaw out, reapply ice, more arnica, and on and on. Thanks for stopping in!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      Ice is definitely the best. I think they tell you less than 20 minutes so you don't freeze any tissue. Ten to fifteen minutes would be best.

      I am going to have to go and buy some of that Arnica...we get a lot of bruising around here ;)

      Voted up and useful.

    • kohuether profile image

      Katherine Olga Tsoukalas 5 years ago from New Hampshire

      Is Zambuck like tiger balm? How quickly does it work to get rid of the bruise?

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 5 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      i have bruises after i woke up from my dream. Don't understand where i got them though.. Usually near my knee.. I either use "ZAMBUK' a green medicated cream to rub it or leave it alone. Next time i will try ice. Thanks