What is a concussion?

A contusion is an injury to the muscle, bone, or soft tissue of the body. It is usually the result of blunt force trauma, and certain types of contusions are simply called hematomas. Most people won't survive without the occasional bruise that might occur from bumping into something. More serious injuries involving bone or muscle can be very significant, but a small simple bruise is usually nothing to worry about.

As mentioned, there are three different types of concussion that can occur. Soft tissue contusions cause skin discoloration, as blood vessels can bleed directly under the skin. This can create a virtual rainbow of colors and a bruise can look brown, red, blue, purple or yellow. As long as the bruise is small and not in a potentially dangerous area, such as the head, it may not require any treatment. Bruising can be minimized by using ice or a cold pack directly after an injury occurs.

Sometimes people seem to have soft tissue types of bruising on a regular basis. They may not even realize they've had some type of injury until they notice a bruise. This could be the result of taking things like blood thinners, which can thin the blood or cause it to clot more slowly. Some bleeding disorders, such as hemophilia, can also cause significant bleeding that creates large bruises, and sometimes people with anemia may have a higher incidence of bruising. Anyone at increased risk should follow the doctor's instructions for treating small bruises; The use of ice is definitely recommended, and any head injury should be treated as life-threatening.

Other types of bruising can occur in people with or without special conditions. A muscle bruise injures the muscles, and there may be a noticeable lump at the site of the injury. This can cause cramping, stiffness, and significant pain in the affected area. These are not uncommon in certain contact sports, although they can occur in other settings.

In general, the most serious type of contusion is a bone hematoma. This isn't a real break, but it can be extremely uncomfortable. People may need x-rays to rule out broken bones because the pain can be severe and can inhibit movement just as rest would. A severe bone bruise can last a long time, and people may need physical therapy to help preserve or improve range of motion in the area of ​​injury.

The average small bruise may not require much treatment. Suspected muscle and bone contusions are more serious and usually should contact a doctor. It is very important to realize that bruising can occur when a bone is broken. A broken toe can make the foot look almost black. While waiting to see a doctor, people should follow the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) method of treatment. This may also be recommended after medical care to promote comfort and facilitate healing.

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