How Should You Manage Bumps and Bruises?

How To Manage Bumps and Bruises

When someone suffers blunt trauma to a part of the body, it can lead to the formation of bumps or bruises in time.

Bruises, also referred to as contusions, occur when blunt trauma to the skin causes damage to the small blood vessels (capillaries) underneath the skin, leading to the leaking out and pooling of blood underneath the skin surface.

Bumps generally occur when trauma results in swelling underneath the surface of the skin due to a build-up of fluid.

Bumps and Bruises on a Child's Head

Immediate Management of Bruises and Bumps

Immediate management of bruises and bumps consists of following the RICE principle (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation).

Application of ice to the injury helps to control swelling and manage pain.

Elevating and compressing the area also helps to control swelling by controlling blood flow to the area, although compression should be avoided if a fracture is suspected.

Treatment Modalities for Bruises & Bumps


Gentle soft tissue massage of the area surrounding the bruise can help to manage pain and control swelling and blood flow, however deep pressure should be avoided as it can increase bruising. Massage should also be avoided in more severe cases of bruising and pain.

Cold & Heat Therapy

Cold therapy in the form of an ice pack should be applied as soon as possible after suffering a bruise to reduce swelling and control blood flow. The use of heat should be avoided in the beginning, as it can increase swelling. Once the swelling has decreased, heat can be gradually applied to help to assist recovery.

Stretching & Mobilisation

After the first 24-48 hours, gentle active and passive stretching of the muscle can be instituted within a pain-free range.

It is also important to begin strengthening the muscle isometrically initially before moving on to more functional training.

Strapping and Kinesio Tape

Strapping can help in the management of soft-tissue bruises by limiting movement of the joint, particularly in severe bruise cases where active or passive motion of the joint should be avoided for extended periods of time.

Kinesio Tape (K-Tape) is an elastic tape that is used as a treatment modality for musculoskeletal injuries.

Kinesio Tape on a Bruised Knee

The theory is that the elasticity of kinesiology tape lifts the skin away from the swollen tissue below by loosely “crinkling” the skin. This is known as a sub-dermal vacuum, which provides less physical resistance to the removal of the retained fluid by your lymphatic and venous drainage systems (Bialoszewski et al., 2009).

In this way, Kinesio Tape assists in the reduction of and speeding up recovery after bruising.

For any further assistance in recovering from your bumps and bruises or any other injuries, contact us today.

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